The controversial Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to make unlimited expenditures in elections generated considerable online advertising spending.
Click Z reports that groups on both the left and the right spent more money online than in past election cycles.
For instance, conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth was unable to solicit donations for its political action committee on behalf of specific candidates before the rule change. Whereas before the group's ads could only ask for support of the organization, now the ads could say "Help us get Sharron Angle elected," explained Peter Pasi, EVP of Emotive, a digital agency that handled online IE ads for American Crossroads and Club for Growth Action.
"We couldn't do some of this prior to the Citizens United case," said Greg Casey president and CEO of Business Industry Political Action Committee, which bought the YouTube homepage across the U.S. on election day and spent over half its budget online during the 2010 election cycle, backing several non-incumbent Republican candidates.
The group put about 60 percent of its online budget towards IEs supporting specific candidates, and the remainder went to issue advocacy and voter education ads, according to Michael Davis VP political programs for the 47-year-old organization. BIPAC ran digital ads supporting House race winners like Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania and Steve Pearce of New Mexico, for example.
Organizations said the ability to use a candidates name in their advertising is “a lot more sexy” than just the name of a PAC.