Political parties in India have spent more than RS 3.76 Crore onnearly 831 election ads using different Google platforms between February 19 and April 3 as per the reports revealed by Google Transparency report on Thursday. Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leads the way with an expenditure of Rs.1.21 Crore for 554 ads. YSR Congress Party which is led by YS Jaganmohan comes second with over RS 1.04 Crore spent on their 107 ads during the specified period. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party has spent Rs. 1.48 Crore with Pramanya Strategy Consulting spending RS. 85.25 lakh. Another notable party, The Digital Consulting Pvt. Ltd has spent Rs 63.43 Lakh
Google views election ads as those which mainly feature a political party, political candidates or members of the Lok Sabha or any other promotion that is run by a political candidate, political party or any member of the Lok Sabha. Google however does not include ads which are run by non-political entities such as the ones on news organizationswhich are involved in promoting political parties or members of the Lok Sabha.
According to the report released by Google, most of the money on election ads has been spent in Andhra Pradesh (RS 1.73 Crore), Telangana (RS 72 Lakh, UP (RS 18 Lakh) with ads on Maharashtra totaling up to RS 7 Lakh. During the start of February, Google had enforced its election ads policy with every advertiser required to provide a certificate. This certificate is issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) or any other authorized commission. In addition to this, every advertiser must be verified by Google before they can proceed to submit their pre-certificate for advertisement.