• | 5:02 pm

BJP dominates ad spending on Google with $3.74 million in 2024

The Central Bureau of Communication (erstwhile Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) spent about $3.69 million this year, data showed

BJP dominates ad spending on Google with $3.74 million in 2024
[Source photo: shutterstock]

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has consistently dominated political advertising on Google, including in 2024, spending ₹310 million ($3.74 million) so far this year. 

Data shared by Google’s Ad Transparency Center showed a total of $12.05 million was spent on “political ads” from 1 January to 18 March 2024. While political parties and government entities dominate the list of big spenders, ads by Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd (Dream11) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zee) were also categorized as “political ads”. 

The BJP spent ₹310 million ($3.74 million) on 14,381 ads this election year, with more than 90% of the amount spent in February alone. A break-up of the BJP’s total spending on Google ads showed 72.6% was spent on videos.

The Election Commission on 16 March announced that the country will vote in seven phases over a six-week period beginning 19 April. The votes will be counted on 4 June. 

The BJP is looking to retain power, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a third term in office. 

During the year, its main rival—the Indian National Congress—spent just ₹2.3 million ($27,700) on 31 ads. At least three political parties—the Biju Janata Dal (₹20.8 million or $250,000), Telugu Desam Party (₹4.22 million or $51,000), and Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) (₹2.63 million or $32,000)—spent more than the Congress. 

Central government as big spender

The second biggest spender  for the year was the Central Bureau of Communication (previously known as the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, or DAVP) at ₹306 million ($3.69 million). The ads promoted central government schemes.

Google classified another ₹10.4 million ($130,000) expense by the Central Bureau of Communication, with most videos under this list being from the recently held National Creators Award 2024.  

Adding up both figures showed the government, through the Central Bureau of Communication, spent ₹316.4 million ($3.82 million) this year. 

Top spenders

1- Here is the list of top 10 spenders on Google ads this year:

2- Bharatiya Janata Party – ₹310 million ($3.74 million)

3- Central Bureau of Communication (previously known as DAVP- Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity) – ₹306 million ($3.69 million)

4- Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd (Dream11) – ₹153 million ($1.85 million)

5- Indian Pac Consulting Pvt. Ltd (I-PAC) – ₹53.4 million ($640,000)

6- Electronics and information technology department, Odisha government – ₹33.6 million ($410,000)

7- Biju Janata Dal –  ₹20.8 million ($250,000) 

8- Populus Empowerment Network Private Limited – ₹19.6 million ($240,000)

9- Way2News Private Limited – ₹14.5 million ($170,000)

10- Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited – ₹14.2 million  ($170,000)

11- Central Bureau of Communication – ₹10.4 million ($130,000)

2019 vs 2024: BJP steps up digital campaign

During the same period (1 Jan-18 March) in 2019, the BJP spent ₹11.7 million ($140,000) on 217 ads. Its spending, however, peaked in April and May following the announcement of elections. The party spent ₹123 million till May. 

In 2019, the BJP spent no money on Google ads in January, ₹6.68 million ($81,000) in February, ₹8.53 million ($103,000) in March, ₹77.5 million ($93,000) in April, and ₹29.8 million ($36,000) in May. 

In comparison, from 1 January to 31 May in 2019, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Congress, and YSRCP spent ₹40 million ($480,000), ₹29.9 million ($360,000), and 22.5 million ($270,000) on Google ads, respectively. 

Looking at the pattern, the BJP’s ad spending in coming April and March are likely to rise significantly from the current cumulative spending of ₹310 million ($3.74 million) for the year.

Political funding

The BJP’s upper hand in political ads is proportional to its dominance in getting electoral funding.  

According to the electoral bond data released by State Bank of India (SBI) following a Supreme Court order, the BJP received the maximum funds through these bonds at ₹6,986.5 crore ($842.5 million) since they were introduced in 2018. 

The BJP was followed by West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress (₹1,397 crore, or $168.5 million), Congress (₹1,334 crore or $160.9 million), and BRS (₹1,322 crore or $159.4 million).

The Supreme Court on Monday, 18 March, directed SBI to disclose “all information related to electoral bonds”, including the alphanumeric numbers on the bond. 

The bench had on 15 February scrapped the electoral bonds scheme and directed the bank to furnish all details regarding the scheme. 


Ahamad Fuwad is the head of the bureau at Press Insider. Fuwad has commissioned, penned, and edited stories across digital and print publications over a journalism career spanning nine years. An accomplished multimedia journalist, he has had stints at DNA, The Free Press Journal, and The Quint. More

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