Mike Pence Launches $2 Million Ad Campaign to Push TikTok Ban Through Senate

Mike Pence launches ad campaign to support TikTok ban
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Mike Pence launches ad campaign to support TikTok ban
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Photo Credit: Charles Deluvio Visuals

Former Vice President Mike Pence launches a $2 million ad campaign to push the Senate to support the House bill that would force Chinese-based ByteDance to sell TikTok in the United States — or face a ban.

A conservative advocacy group led by Pence, Advancing American Freedom (AAF), announced the campaign will launch next week in key states for November’s elections: Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. These are also areas where TikTok has been heavily advertising in the face of the Senate’s upcoming decision — to the tune of $2.1 million.

Part of AAF’s campaign shows footage of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in the past calling for the Chinese-owned TikTok to “be closed down in America,” along with voters urging him and other senators to vote for divestment of the short-form video app.

Pence said he believes the Senate must pass the bill before Memorial Day, or risk Congress getting “caught up in politics and positioning,” leaving the legislation undecided for the rest of the 2024 election cycle.

Meanwhile, TikTok has launched its own $2 million-plus ad buy in key election states last week to push senators the block the bill, which passed through the House with ease. Other states that will see TikTok’s new ads include New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota — the former two key markets for young people and journalists, and the latter the home state of Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, notably a fierce critic of TikTok.

In addition to the ad campaign, TikTok has urged users to flood congressional offices with calls insisting that they vote against the bill — though some officials have reported receiving threatening calls from some users.

The bill passed in a 352-65 House vote last month. Rather than an outright ban, the legislation would force TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, to divest from the app within 180 days of the bill being signed into law, or face removal from app stores in the United States.

Despite rapid support in the House, and President Biden saying he would sign the bill if it passed the Senate, the bill’s path through the Senate remains uncertain.