2019 general election Politics Social media

Tories used Facebook to stoke fear of Corbyn’s “tax on pensions”

A slew of Tory ads targeted people approaching retirement

A slew of Tory ads targeted people approaching retirement

The Conservatives ran 12 Facebook ads aimed at people approaching retirement. The ads read:

According to the CBI, pensioners will foot Jeremy Corbyn’s tax bill and could be forced to delay their retirement by three and a half years. #CostOfCorbyn

Corbyn’s Pension Tax would see ten million savers facing a huge bill and could mean delaying their retirement for almost three and a half years. #CostOfCorbyn

Corbyn’s tax on pensions would hit hard-working people and could force millions to delay their retirement. #CostOfCorbyn

Corbyn’s Pension Tax would see ten million savers facing a huge bill and could mean delaying their retirement for almost three and a half years. #CostOfCorbyn

The ads linked to articles in The Express, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Sun. All concern Labour’s plans to:

 “raid company shares…hitting people’s pensions and forcing them to work longer. The 10.4million who pay into pension schemes are set to lose an average of around £11,167 from their pension pots because the value of their investments would fall” — Daily Mail.

The adverts were however not directly targeted at existing pensioners but at the group immediately approaching retirement, signalling the Conservatives interest in reaching a key. 

153,000 impressions were logged from a spend of £1200 as Graph 1 shows.

Ads of four different types — there were three of each type

The demographics targeted were older people, those 55–64 specifically. As Graph 2 shows, across all 12 adverts the average targeting was 46% men and 53% women across all the adverts.

The Conservatives were clearly trying to reach out to a group of voters who generally support the party, however, they may have been targeting differing locations, labour leave pre-pensioners or others. On the one hand this advertising campaign appears overtly defensive, while on the other it may signal confidence. Given the result it is likely this was a tool used to chip away older Labour voters.

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