This election season is the gift that keeps on giving.

According to the good folks at Re/code, the Sanders campaign was using what appeared to be Buzzfeed videos to promote their campaign. Like this back-waxing video.


Sponsored Tweets are shoved into user feeds; tweets that look like they’re promoting some viral millennial silliness, but when a user clicks on the video, they’re given a Bernie promo video, not the back-waxing treat they were anticipating.

Re/code writes:

For someone casually scrolling down her Twitter feed, it might seem as though the Vermont socialist was paying to sponsor BuzzFeed videos. If you actually clicked on the video (which has since been deleted), a pre-roll Sanders ad showed up, which alleviated some of the confusion.

But that fundamental weirdness still remains, highlighting what has been a particularly thorny issue for all candidates running in the 2016 election. Programmatic ad buying — that is, using software to automate the buying process — can place political ads next to content on YouTube, Twitter and elsewhere that the candidates obviously don’t endorse.

Increasingly, campaigns rely on digital platforms and programmatic ad buying to influence voters. Analysts — Nomura’s Anthony DiClemente included — estimate political spending in the 2016 election cycle will reach $1 billion, roughly five times the amount invested in 2012.

Bernie’s campaign says they didn’t hand pick the Buzzfeed videos that would appear in user feeds, rather, “the campaign was advertising against all BuzzFeed videos.”

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye