The Trump campaign is propping up its manager Brad Parscale on social media, spending upward of $325,000 in recent weeks on Facebook ads that raise questions over whether the campaign is trying to boost Parscale's profile and get his private marketing firm more business.
According to The New York Times, several ads have appeared using Parscale's Facebook page, rather than that of the campaign's, as the vehicle to post them.
The report claims that Parscale's followers on Instagram and Facebook have both gone up in the last two weeks.
"I'm relying on grass-roots donations from hard-working Patriots, like YOU, to lead us to victory," reads an ad posted to Parscale's Facebook page this week.
Some experts say varying whose account is used to buy ads for a candidate is a useful method of keeping them fresh, as automated algorithms play a key role in determining how many people view online ads. But others say using a campaign manager's account is unusual.
"The ads may well be raising money for the Trump campaign, but certainly in the Democratic Party this would feel more like personal profiteering than in the interest of the campaign when you're building up the audience of someone who is also the principal of a private marketing firm and wants to sell himself as an influence," Andrew Bleeker, the president of the Democrat firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, told the Times.
He added that Parscale is "becoming a brand in his own right on Trump's dime, and if there is ever a candidate who understands the value of personal branding and what that's worth, it's Donald Trump."
The latest RealClearPolitics average shows Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden in the polls.
Mother Jones reported on the ads from Parscale's Facebook page last week, noting that a link to his marketing firm was on his page. The link has since been removed.
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