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MyPillow has spent $3.6 million on Facebook ads in 2021 — and spending spikes whenever …

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  • MyPillow is massively ramping up its spending on Facebook ads, data company Pathmatics told Insider.
  • Its Facebook ad spending spikes whenever there’s bad press about Mike Lindell, data shows.
  • Lindell has openly criticized Facebook and said he plans to launch his own social-media site.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MyPillow’s spending on Facebook ads spikes every time there’s bad press around its controversial founder Mike Lindell, according to data shared with Insider.

Lindell has been blocked from Twitter, sued by Dominion, and had his products pulled by retailers all in the space of a few months – and MyPillow boosted its Facebook ad spending each time, the data shows.

The pillow company has spent an estimated $3.6 million on Facebook ads since January alone, ad-data company Pathmatics told Insider.

The company relies predominantly on infomercials, starring Lindell himself, to drive sales. He told Insider’s Kate Taylor that he run ads on more than 5,000 channels and 500 radio stations that span the political spectrum and that the company reaches “everyone.”

He told Taylor Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are destroying businesses. He also has lambasted all three social-media sites in interviews after they deleted his posts that falsely claimed voting machines switched votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election.

Despite his comments about social-media sites, data from Pathmatics shows that MyPillow has massively ramped up its Facebook ad spending. Its $3.6 million Facebook ad spend between January and mid-March alone is a huge increase on 2020, when it spent an estimated $2.3 million on Facebook ads over the course of the whole year. This, in turn, was more than double what it had spent in 2019.

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This also greatly surpasses how much MyPillow spends advertising on other websites, too. Pathmatics estimates the company spent 93% of its 2020 digital ad spend on Facebook.

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Its spending on Google’s ad network dropped to $0 in March after spending around $45,000 between January 2020 and early March 2021, estimates from Pathmatics show. Lindell has said in interviews that he spent “tens of thousands of dollars” buying ads on Google, but that the search engine had “canceled” him.

MyPillow’s Facebook ad spending spikes when there’s bad press about Lindell

In January, retailers began pulling MyPillow’s products after customers said they would boycott the brand over Lindell’s voter-fraud claims. Following the news, MyPillow more than quadrupled its daily Facebook ad spend from $4,500 on January 15 to $175,000 on January 21, according to estimates from Pathmatics.

In February, Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against both Lindell and MyPillow, accusing him of “knowingly [lying] about Dominion to sell more pillows.” After this, MyPillow more than tripled its daily Facebook ad spending to $94,000, estimates from Pathmatics show.

Twitter permanently banned Lindell’s account in January and suspended MyPillow’s a week later after Lindell falsely accused Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, of being involved in fraud during the 2020 election. Pathmatics estimates that after Lindell was banned, MyPillow more than doubled its Facebook ad spending to $154,000 overnight.

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Spending also spiked in both 2020 and 2021 ahead of his appearance at CPAC, Pathmatics said. The company reached its 2020 digital ad spend peak at the beginning of April, after Lindell appeared at Trump’s coronavirus task force meeting.

mike lindell trump

Lindell speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images


And in July 2020, when companies including Starbucks, Unilever, and Ford halted Facebook ads for a month after the platform allowed posts in which then-President Donald Trump called Black Lives Matter protesters “thugs,” MyPillow actually increased its Facebook ad spending by more than 60% from the previous month, according to estimates from Pathmatics.

Lindell told Insider’s Taylor that each MyPillow ad either breaks even or makes money, regardless of any controversies he is embroiled in at the time.

Data from Google Trends show that searches for “MyPillow” peak, not when seasonal searches for “bedding” are high, but when Lindell is in the news.

When Lindell is in the news, interest in the brand grows, and so it may invest in online ads to capitalize on this increased interest, professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, told Insider.

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“MyPillow is recognizing that bad press is still press and is taking advantage of the energy, no matter the sentiment,” Matt Klein, a cultural researcher and consultant, told Insider. “Lindell’s divisiveness is attractive to some.”

“So when there’s a press hit, negative or positive, he becomes top of mind again for those consumers,” Klein added.

MyPillow did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Lindell plans to launch his own social-media site

But as MyPillow has ramped up its Facebook ad spending, Lindell has been secretly creating his own social-media platform over the last four year.

Lindell told Insider’s Natasha Dailey that the social-media site, which is called Vocl and due to launch over the next month, will be a cross between Twitter and YouTube.

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In a podcast on Monday, he said Vocl would be the “biggest platform in history, safest platform ever.”

Lindell has been open about his problems with other social-media sites, notably Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, which have flagged or removed content where he peddled voter-fraud theories.

Lindell, who is planning to be the site’s CEO, told Dailey he didn’t have any prospective investors and declined to say how much money he invested in Vocl. It is unknown how much – if at all – he plans to use the site to advertise his MyPillow brand.

Despite MyPillow increasing its digital advertising, though, the company has given no indication that its infamous infomercials will stop any time soon.

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

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However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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