AS Spain gears up for its general election on November 10, a campaign of dirty advertising has been revealed in Andalucia.
The conservative PP party, led by Pablo Casado has funded thousands of euros worth of adverts telling the public ‘not to vote’ for its rivals.
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Streets in Madrid, Huelva, Murcia and Granada have been plastered with posters smearing the left wing PSOE and Podemos parties.
The adverts, which are not signed off by any group, use the slogans ‘do not count on me’ and ‘I do not vote’.
An investigation by El Diario has traced the campaign back to a man named Aleix Sanmartin, a consultant, recently hired as Casado’s election guru.
Sanmartin most notably spearheaded the PP’s successful campaign in Andalucia’s snap elections last December, thus helping Juanma Moreno become president, ending the PSOE’s 40-year reign in the region.
In his latest political advertising offensive, the PP campaign chief has employed a man named Josep Lanuza, to control Facebook adverts.
The El Diario report suggests similarities between this political campaign and that of Cambridge Analytica, the London-based firm, which harvested the data of millions of Facebook users to meddle in the US elections and Brexit vote.
According to the newspaper, advertising was ‘distributed in neighbourhoods that traditionally support the PSOE or United Podemos’.
Sanmartin said: “We have nothing to do with that campaign. We do not know where it comes from.”
This type of advertising could prove crucial in Spain’s fourth general election in as many years, as 32% of the electorate are still undecided on who to vote for, according to the latest polling.
With nine days to go until the country decides who should take control of the 350-seat parliament, opinion polls also show that no party appears to have overall control.