Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been quietly assembling a squad of tech executives to run digital advertising for his presidential campaign, as uncovered in a new report by CNBC. The report centers on a firm called Hawkfish, a digital ad startup that’s currently embedded within the Bloomberg campaign.
According to the campaign, Hawkfish was founded earlier this year, hiring Facebook’s former chief marketing officer Gary Briggs as one of the first employees. Former Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck joined earlier this month, as reported by CNBC. The firm was active in 2019 races in both Virginia and Kentucky, operating as a general Bloomberg-aligned ad firm meant to counteract a perceived Republican advantage in digital ad targeting.
Bloomberg campaign spokesperson Julie Wood told The Verge that Hawkfish has been fully embedded in the Bloomberg campaign since it launched on November 21st, and is now handling all of the campaign’s digital ads. “Hawkfish is now providing digital ad services, including content creation, ad placement and analytics,” said Wood, adding that “Hawkfish will continue to support Democratic races across the country in future cycles.”
The Bloomberg campaign has already distinguished itself with unprecedented digital ad buys, fueled by Bloomberg’s personal wealth. The campaign has spent more than $4 million on Facebook ads in the last month — outpacing every other candidate who ran ads on Facebook over the same period, including President Trump. That spending has yet to have a significant impact in the polls, where national averages show Bloomberg holding steady at around 5 percent.