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The very expensive Facebook advertising of RN MEPs, between record spending and friendly service providers


When she targeted the Elysée, during the 2022 presidential campaign, Marine Le Pen posed as a bulwark against the hegemony of Twitter and Facebook. His program accused major digital platforms of “censorship” and threatened to “to establish and manage a public, free and free social network”. This speech by the leader of the National Rally (RN) contrasts with the way in which its representatives in the European Parliament continue to water the coffers of Facebook in public money, more than any other delegation in Strasbourg.

Between April 15, 2019 (beginning of the publication by the American company of the sums received for advertising purposes) and May 30, 2023, the Identity and Democracy group (ID, far right), where the elected RNs sit in the European Parliament , donated 446,259 euros to sponsor the messages, videos, speeches and petitions broadcast on the Facebook page of the French delegation. Barely less, over the same period, than the French government (448,416 euros). But much more than any group in the European Parliament.

In addition to these sponsorship costs for the Facebook page “Group Identity and Democracy – France”, there are the sums paid to highlight the individual accounts of several members of the French delegation, in particular Jordan Bardella (71,017 euros), Jean-Paul Garraud (25,127 euros), Jean-Lin Lacapelle (14,920 euros) and Mathilde Androuët (14,721 euros).

“One is legal. Two is a choice”

In total, and taking into account the advertisements paid for by former RN affiliates – Jérôme Rivière and Nicolas Bay before joining Eric Zemmour – French ID MEPs paid more than 600,000 euros to Facebook between April 2019 and May 2023, to increase their audience on the social network by targeting a non-subscriber audience, with profiles (age, place of residence, other accounts followed, etc.) determined by the advertiser. All this without counting the 110,480 euros committed, during the same period, to increase the visibility, in France, of the common page of the parliamentary group “Identity & Democracy Party”.

“Some decide to go on trips, conferences or buy gadgets. We prefer to sponsor ourselves on the networksassumes MEP Thierry Mariani. One, it’s legal. Two is a choice. And then it has the advantage of quickly reaching more people than if we were traveling around the world. »

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An investment without common measure with that of other political formations using the “Facebook Ads” function [publicités] », whether in the European Parliament or in France. For example, during the presidential campaign in April 2022, Emmanuel Macron’s party, Renaissance, promoted proxy voting for the sum of 202,046 euros. And over the past four years, the RN has only spent 34,872 euros on Facebook to promote its “Rassemblement National” page; 28,364 euros for “Marine Le Pen”.

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