Taylor Swift Fans Targeted By Virginia Governor Campaign Ads

A gubernatorial election is currently heating up in Virginia, and, wouldn’t you know it, Taylor Swift fans just might tip the scales in favor of Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe’s new campaign strategy, according to The Verge, is targeting Facebook, Instagram, and Google search ads that accuse his opponent, Republican Glenn Youngkin, of having a role in the controversial purchase of Swift’s master recordings in 2019.

Youngkin used to be the co-CEO of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group before retiring and launching his 2021 gubernatorial bid. While he was at Carlyle, Youngkin allegedly worked with music manager bigwig Scooter Braun to buy Swift’s former label, Big Machine, back in 2019. Swift was famously unhappy about the purchase, alleging in a Tumblr post that the purchase put Braun in a position of “controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity.” (Braun eventually sold the rights to another private equity firm for a reported $300 million, and Swift went on to launch a still-ongoing “Taylor’s Version” campaign where she’s re-recording her first six albums.)

Anyway, McAuliffe’s Swift-themed ads, which reportedly set the Democratic candidate back about five figures, will target Taylor fans who like and engage with the singer’s content across Facebook and Instagram. “Did you know that Republican candidate for Governor, Glenn Youngkin, helped buy Taylor Swift’s masters out from under her when he was co-CEO of Carlyle Group?” one reads. Plus, if you live in Virginia and search Taylor’s name, you’ll see ads in Google search results.


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