A Wauwatosa-based spice company spent nearly $100,000 on Facebook ads last week calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, placing the company among the biggest social media spenders to wade into the impeachment debate so far.
Penzeys Spices, the country’s largest independent spice retailer, spent $95,948 on Facebook ads promoting impeachment between Oct. 4 and 10, according to Facebook. That comes as the company was reported to have spent $92,000 on Facebook ads related to impeachment from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5.
The ads have caught fire online. One post generated 257,000 reactions, 55,000 comments and 45,000 shares.
Trump is the subject of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats over a whistleblower complaint that he asked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The company now appears to be fundraising off of national media attention surrounding the fact it was the second-highest spender on impeachment-related Facebook ads during the week following the House impeachment announcement. During that week, the Trump campaign spent about $718,000, according to an analysis of Facebook ad spending.
A new Facebook ad the company began running Sunday says it will direct sales from new customers toward its impeachment ads.
“Impeach! De-Fund Fox! Save America!,” the advertisement reads. “Last week it was announced that Penzeys was second in Facebook Impeachment ads spending to only the president himself. Who wants to be #2? Today, Tomorrow (possibly longer) every single dollar in new customer spending at penzeys.com will go to funding Penzeys Impeachment Facebook ads. Every cent!”
The company began running impeachment-related advertisements in early October in the form of paragraphs-long statements from the company’s CEO, Bill Penzey.
In one ad that began running Oct. 3, Penzey said, “It’s the end of the Republican Party as we know it — And we should all feel fine.”
In the same ad, Penzey argued “the Ukraine scandal is a mandatory open and shut case for the impeachment” and claimed the Republican Party has rejected its conservative principles.
In an email to Fox Business, Penzey said the ads have been good for the company.
“The reason we spent so much is that this ad has worked better than any ad we’ve placed before,” Penzey wrote. “This president, and the media that is supporting him, are really-really unpopular right now.”
The company did not respond to request from the State Journal seeking comment.
Penzey has previously spoken out on politics, writing in an email to thousands after the election of Trump that “the open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades.”