WASHINGTON -- The amount President Barack Obama's reelection committee spent on online advertising surged in January to $4.26 million, according to federal reports.
A disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Feb. 17 showed that the campaign spent nearly as much in January as it did for online ads during all of 2011 -- a total of $5.07 million.
The campaign's single biggest online ad buy, which came in January this year, was used to tout a Labor Department graphic showing private sector job growth during Obama's first term. The 15-second video ad showing an animated version of the Labor Department chart is featured in the campaign's advertising across the web, including on the video streaming service Hulu.
In contrast, the campaign reported spending only $3.1 million on television media buys, which are far more expensive than online advertising. The television ad buy included one ad in response to a major advertising campaign from the conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity.
Obama continues to stand head-and-shoulders above the Republican candidates in terms of online advertising. The campaign spent $800,000 more on online advertising in January than all of the Republican candidates combined spent in 2011.
The top online advertiser among the Republican candidates is Mitt Romney, who spent $2.45 million on online ads in 2011. None of the Republicans have released their campaign reports covering January yet; they have until Monday.
The majority of the Obama campaign's spending on online ads went through the online advertising firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, founded by the digital marketers of the 2008 Obama campaign. Since the campaign reports spending to Bully Pulpit, it does not list the individual advertisers that received payments from the campaign.