A shortcut on the Bloomberg terminal sent users to the billionaire presidential candidate's website, where a campaign ad autoplayed. It was quickly changed.

jzeballos@businessinsider.com (Joseph Zeballos-Roig)
michael bloomberg
  • The flagship information terminal of ultra-wealthy media mogul Michael Bloomberg was promoting his 2020 bid for the White House on Thursday.
  • The Financial Times first reported that a shortcut on the Bloomberg terminal led users directly to his campaign website by simply entering the function "MIKE."
  • Business Insider also typed in "MIKE" on the Terminal and was directed to the website, where a campaign ad tracing the billionaire's life story automatically started playing.
  • The function has since been changed to simply redirect to Bloomberg's biography page.
  • A campaign spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment, but they later told the Financial Times it was "clearly an oversight." 
  • The ordeal comes amid mounting scrutiny around the company and how it will deal with its owner's candidacy.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The flagship information terminal of ultra-wealthy media mogul Michael Bloomberg was promoting his 2020 bid for the White House on Thursday. 

The Financial Times first reported that a shortcut on the Bloomberg Terminal is leading users towards his campaign website by simply entering the function "MIKE <GO>."

Business Insider also typed in "MIKE" on the terminal and was redirected to the website, where a campaign ad chronicling the billionaire's life story automatically started playing. The ad — which traces his journey as "a middle-class kid" who later rose to become a billionaire businessman and politician — is one minute and 49 seconds.

A similar shortcut was not extended to any of Bloomberg's rivals for the presidency. Instead, typing in "JOE," "PETE," or "BERNIE" only redirects people towards a biographical page with the latest news stories for former vice president Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The function has since been changed to simply redirect to Bloomberg's biography page. The ordeal comes amid mounting scrutiny around the company and how it will deal with its owner's candidacy.

A Bloomberg spokesperson did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment. But they told the Financial Times that the "MIKE" shortcut has been in place since 1997 and traditionally sent users to personal projects of Bloomberg before it converted to the campaign website.

A campaign spokesperson later told the Financial Times it was "clearly an oversight."

The Terminal has over 325,000 subscriptions worldwide and many within the finance industry use it to access information on stocks, securities, and market movements. 

Bloomberg entered the Democratic primary on Nov. 24, jolting the race with the prospect of a self-funded candidate. He's attempted to present himself as a pragmatic option within a primary split on ideology and a party that's wrestling to determine whether a moderate or progressive candidate is best equipped to take on President Trump in the the 2020 election.

He has since poured over $57 million on television ads, outspending almost every other Democratic candidate in two weeks.

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