Mitt Romney's Direct Facebook Trick

Are Romney “Obama” Facebook & Twitter Ads Dirty Tactics Or Smart Politics?

Posted in Facebook Advertising

Mitt Romney backers are buying Facebook and Twitter social advertising, designed to divert clicks from users who search for “Obama.” Buying ads for competitors’ brand search keywords is nothing new to online marketers. Decide for yourself. Is this is smart politics or dirty tactics?

Some brands take offense to competitors buying ads on their name keywords and consider it squatting.  What do we expect from our presidential candidates?  Obama is not buying Facebook searches for Mitt Romney’s name that we can detect. The  Facebook “Obama” search ads are well executed. Even start to type “Barack” and the sponsored listing appears. A click leads to the official Romney Facebook page.

barack partial romney ad

Romney’s official campaign seems to be buying Twitter searches for “Obama.” It’s possible that a third party, unrelated to the official Romney campaign, is placing the Facebook ads.

We are not seeing Romney ads targeted to those searching Google for “Obama.”  Marketing to Obama’s Google searches might be too visible a tactic, which risks backlash.


Search ads in Facebook are relatively new, rolled out out over the last couple of months. Many marketers don’t know about them yet.


Decide for yourself if this is a dirty tactic or smart politics. Looking forward to seeing you all get out and vote on election day!

  • Jon W

    In a way, if a dedicated Obama supporter gets diverted like this, they already have their revenge, no? They won’t be swayed, after all, and they have just (micro) drained the Romney coffers!

    I mean, how many undecideds are really left at this point?

    • Marty Weintraub

      Jon, Yep, that’s true. I love the idea about Obama supporters clicking on the ads to intentionally COST Romney pay per click cash. How smart is that! Thanks for stopping by Jon.

  • Barry Tubwell

    I think its very smart and will become the norm soon for tons of social media marketing companies to get a boost for there clients.

    Another informative post Marty, Thanks :).

  • Emily Brackett

    Today, I was trying to put together a blog post about Politics, Facebook and Branding.

    I was trying to grab some facebook images of the two presidential candidates. Several times I kept ending up on Romney’s page when I was trying to get to Obama’s. It took a few clicks before I realized what had happened. Just made me think it’s sneaky and doesn’t build trust.

  • Ian Straus

    Great news! As an Obama supporter I will be usre to click on Romney’s ads and cost him money each time. Hurray for pay-per-click!

  • Alex Ribble

    That is a very smart tactic for Romney to make his page appear when his opponents name is search. This will draw in more likes and viewers for Romney.

  • Walter Weeks

    Such tactics are clever but very risky. This is nothing but an annoying tactic used either by the Romney camp or by an avid supporter. I believe this will have little influence in the election and instead may well back fire on the individuals responsible for such sneaky tactics.

  • VeljkoGaloo

    As clever as it may be these tactics usually produce people to assume that their opponents are using cheap tactics and dirty tricks. Furthermore I think that Walter is right, these tactics will have little influence in the election…

  • Paul

    there’s a very thin line between dirty tactics and smart politics. in this particular case, I believe Romney was not playing dirty.

    • Marty Weintraub

      Paul, Romney may not have been playing dirty but the American public did not seem to buy the tactics.