Immediately after the horror of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the National Rifle Association halted all of its digital advertising, including ads on YouTube, banner ads on websites, and Facebook ads.
Within four days, though, the NRA had returned in force, increasing its advertising aggressively on Facebook, and spending so widely and indiscriminately that its ads on YouTube showed up on videos for school-age kids…
BREAKING NEWS: A group that lobbies against gun control bought more ads when gun control became more of a big deal politically.
We’re supposed to be surprised by this.
My local paper is a Reuters affiliate, by the way, and this is a Tribune Media story. The editors had to go a bit out of their way to get this.
The article went on:
[Local college professor Michael] Franz says he finds it bizarre that the NRA would advertise to kids on toy video channels – but it could be as simple as the organization aiming its spending at the most popular YouTube channels to spread its message about membership. “It suggests that they’re buying ad time based off of presumed reach as opposed to audience,” he says. “We shouldn’t infer too much sophistication on the part of their outreach strategy.”
Also, the pro-control side has been framing its message as being by kids, for kids, and the NRA might have believed them.
We’re supposed to be outraged by this. The writer clearly is, because she laments the lack of stricter FCC regulation a couple of paragraphs later.