A week before the first phase of elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has taken a big lead in advertising on Google and its affiliated platforms such as YouTube with an ad spend of Rs 1.21 crore, while its main rival Congress has spent only Rs 54,100, the search engine said.
Google, in a report on political advertisement across its platforms -- Google, YouTube and partner properties, said Rs 3.76 crore was spent by advertisers since February 19.
"Our goal is to provide greater transparency in political advertising on Google, YouTube, and partner properties. This report includes information about Lok Sabha election ads that feature or are run by a political party, a political candidate, or a current member of the Lok Sabha," it said.
Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP was the biggest ad spender with a total expenditure of Rs 1.48 crore. His ad spend was by two firms - Pramanya Strategy Consulting (Rs 85.25 lakh) and Digitant Consulting (Rs 63.43 lakh).
The BJP spent Rs 1.21 crore on advertisements during this period.
TDP's rival YSR Congress of Jagan Reddy was a close third with an ad spend of Rs 1.04 crore.
Congress spent Rs 54,100 on Google platforms.
The remaining spend was by Ethinos Digital Marketing (RS 1.56 lakh), Pammi Sai Charan Reddy (Rs 26,400), Harshnath Human Services (Rs 6,300), Jaskaran Dhillon (Rs 5,400), Vidooly Media Tech (Rs 1,300) and Akula Satyanarayana (Rs 400).
With Andhra Pradesh going to polls in the first phase on April 11, the state saw the biggest ad spend of Rs 1.73 crore, followed by Bihar (Rs 10.5 lakh), Maharashtra (Rs 17.19 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (18.47 lakh).
Advertisement spend by Andhra parties is likely to dry out after April 11. The state will go to polls in a single phase on that day. Polling for all the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state as well as 175 assembly seats will be held on April 11.