Head Scratcher: Daily Caller Hosts McAuliffe Ad?

The Daily Caller isn’t exactly the welcoming committee for the Democrats. So it was a little strange Wednesday that The Daily Caller would feature an ad from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe against Republican Ken Cuccinelli within a story saying the White House and IRS exchanged confidential taxpayer info that ultimately landed on Drudge. And not just any Democratic candidate — the former head of the DNC and a major buddy of Bill Clinton. No doubt, it’s also weird McAuliffee would even think to advertise on the obviously right-leaning Daily Caller.

Kind of like advertising for kale juices during a football game, right?

Well, it turns out McAuliffe and The Daily Caller aren’t in bed together. We asked a publication spokeswoman for comment.“The McAuliffe ad was a network ad, which appear one of two ways. Most likely the campaign targeted specific sites through its ad network,” Spokeswoman Nicole Roeberg told FishbowlDC. “The other possibility is that you saw that ad based on your browsing history. Our site is often targeted by Democratic campaigns through their networks, because we do have a sizable independent and moderate audience. I saw an ad on our site yesterday for Alison Lundergan Grimes as well. Ads for any candidate from either party are not endorsements, but we welcome all campaigns to reach out to our audience.”

Translation: McAuliffee was not advertising with The Daily Caller.

“It wasn’t a direct sales ad, meaning the McAuliffe campaign didn’t purchase ad space from The Daily Caller,” Roeberg continued. “Many campaigns go through ad networks, which buy ads for the campaign on a multitude of sites that they have targeted. That is mostly automated – the network doesn’t call us and say ‘we’re going to run McAuliffe on your site.’ Though if they did, we certainly wouldn’t turn them down. The networks then pay us based on the ad impressions.”