May 23, 2019

    Millions Of Young Women Are Being Targeted By Facebook Ads Depicting Nigel Farage As A Bloody-Eyed Vampire

    Businesswoman Gina Miller's new group has spent almost £30,000 on the anti-Farage scare campaign, which aims to reach millions of young people.

    Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    Anti-Brexit businesswoman Gina Miller is behind a campaign that has seen millions of British millennials — predominantly women — targeted by an advertising campaign on Facebook depicting Nigel Farage as an anti-woman and anti-environment, bloody-eyed vampire ahead of the European elections.

    Miller's new campaign group Remain United has bought the advertising, with Facebook's ad archive revealing the group has spent almost £30,000 targeting young women on the eve of voting.

    Remain United

    Miller told BuzzFeed News she has recently set-up her own campaigning company called Centrum Campaigning Ltd, which has three new "campaigning brands" called Remain United, Lead not Leave and End the Chaos.

    She said the "vampire Farage" advertising from Remain United was about trying to inform young women about the threat of Nigel Farage and the Brexit party.

    "The target groups were young people, especially women, to get them out to vote," Miller said. "It was two pronged: to let them know what the Brexit party stands for in the absence of a manifesto, secondly to increase turnout.

    "We are aware that because it's been left so late to confirm the EU referendum, we haven't got a proper campaign that's been launched by the Conservatives or Labour. Many people have not been aware of the date of the elections, or what it would mean."

    The Facebook ad archive data shows several dozen versions of the 'vampire Farage' ads placed in the last few weeks, with them clocking more than seven million impressions.

    Among the advertisements featuring Nigel Farage with bloodshot eyes and vampire fangs are slogans like, "Nigel says: Universities? Brainwashers! That's why young people don't want Brexit." and "Nigel says: Worrying about climate change is a big, stupid mistake."

    Facebook

    Miller said Remain United decided to target Farage using his past comments on the environment and women because they tested well with people aged under 25.

    The European Parliament, in their foolishness, have voted for increased maternity pay. I'm off for a drink. #UKIP

    "We did have a small period of time to test them and it was mainly 18 to 25s, which would respond to these ads," Miller said. "On women and the environment, that's what worked in those age groups."

    Miller's name is not shown on the adverts – but under the social network's new rules the name of the company that has bought them is.

    I'm not sure I really want vampire Farage on my Facebook feed. Who are Remain United?

    The Brexit party has spent almost £120,000 on Facebook ads since October last year. The Brexit party has been contacted for comment.

    When it comes to the funding behind the advertisements and anti-Farage campaign, Miller said she was the "majority donor", but pointed to a crowdfunding page on Remain United's website, showing £45,000 in small, crowd-funded donations. The page indicates users can donate from outside the UK.

    Last year, Miller distanced herself from one of the main anti-Brexit campaigning groups called Best for Britain, saying the group was "a room full of white males deciding what's going to happen to the country".

    Earlier this week, Farage's Brexit party was criticised for taking online donations via PayPal from people outside the UK, with the Electoral Commission visiting the party's offices to check whether its systems complied with regulations. The commission later said there was no immediate wrongdoing found, but the investigation into the Brexit party remains "open".

    Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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