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Promotion of the My Town campaign

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Recent coverage has contained a number of misleading claims about last year’s My Town campaign. The campaign was designed to bring forward ideas from local people on how the Towns Fund could be spent.

It’s incorrect to say this promotion was done during an election period. The campaign was designed and launched before Parliament voted for a General Election on October 29 2019 and long before the pre-election (Purdah) period started.

It’s also incorrect as suggested in the Times to say the 18 posts in Facebook’s advert library were the only ones boosted.

We ran paid-for promotion for posts relating to all 100 areas invited to bid for the Towns Fund, this promotion was to help reach a wide range of people across all 100 areas to generate the most ideas. We did this in a sequential way, a block of posts at a time. The cost of this promotion was less than £5,000.

During the period the campaign was running, Facebook changed their guidance on paid-for promotion of posts concerning social issues.

This led to the block of adverts that was being boosted at the time – for towns beginning K to N – being flagged as needing additional labelling. These are the ones captured in Facebook’s ad library.

Finally, it is also incorrect to say any posts were pulled. All the posts are still on Facebook, and the paid-for promotion continued, as scheduled when the campaign was launched, until 1 November 2019.

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