Romney Snags Top Twitter Ad for Debate

Adam Mazmanian
National Journal

There’s only one “Promoted Trend” ad unit allotted by Twitter per 24-hour period, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney bought it in a bid to steer the online conversation his way in advance of Wednesday's debate.

The ad puts the hashtag #CantAfford4More in the feed of every user who logs into Twitter via the Web, and it is also visible to mobile users and those accessing via desktop application Tweetdeck.  The ad, which insiders say costs $120,000, is accompanied by a Promoted Tweet from the @MittRomney account that reads, “Another term for @BarackObama will bring more taxes, regulations, and debt that have ground our recovery to a halt.”

“If there’s one thing that we learned with the 20 debates that we did in the primary, it’s that Twitter is where a lot of real-time conversations are going,” Romney’s digital director Zac Moffatt told National Journal in an interview last month. At the time, Moffatt wouldn't confirm or deny plans for a Twitter advertising buy for the debates, but he said the campaign planned “to use that experience to build something that’s most in line with what our goals are.”

Romney's campaign became the first presidential purchaser of a Sponsored Trend when it bought one during the Republican National Convention to promote the candidate's acceptance speech.