Bloomberg’s political advertising and campaign management service, Sponcon, won’t be subject to the kinds of restrictions that Facebook has proposed on political ads on its platform.
The rules Facebook is proposing apply to communications that could directly influence the “election or election campaigns of candidates, officeholders or political parties in any jurisdiction in the United States,” Bloomberg LP CEO Mike Bloomberg said in a January letter to Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel, Bloomberg News reported. Bloomberg wrote that regulation would force Sponcon’s advertising, which spans different platforms, to match Facebook’s broader standards and taxes.
Bloomberg also pitched a different method, saying that businesses could instead be held to a “single standard: that the product is clearly disclosed and readily accessible.”
Ravel eventually declined to make a decision.
Bloomberg’s “single standard” proposal isn’t entirely new: A 2008 GAO report found that businesses already face regulatory burdens and limitations in communicating political messages on the web.
Earlier this month, FB proposed a definition of political ads as advertisements “about a candidate for public office or a political party.” FB also proposed “new tools for advertisers to handle political campaigns and election related messaging with greater transparency.”
In the letter, Bloomberg noted that Sponcon’s political advertising doesn’t follow “all of these conditions for Facebook’s proposed set of rules,” though it does acknowledge that it covers an “artisanal” commercial product.
Bloomberg said in the letter that Facebook should not charge Sponcon additional fees in exchange for not applying the proposed rules to its product.