Stop lies in political advertising

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Problem

Somehow, political advertising is currently free to make wild and unsubstantiated claims. We urgently need you to support our campaign to change this – especially as is seems possible that there may be a second referendum or snap general election over the next month.

The reason for this is that unlike ads for consumer products, shockingly, campaign material in the UK is not regulated. There’s nowhere to complain to if you come across a dishonest political ad. And with no regulator or body responsible, nobody has the power to remove or give penalties out for political advertising that is misleading.

For there to be change we need the political parties to agree to it. The only way that is going to happen is by showing the public demands it. Sign this petition to show your support for reform in the rules around political advertising.

When false claims are made during election campaigns, it undermines the moral authority of the result, and increases voters’ lack of trust in politics more generally. 

Lies from one political group muddies the waters for all of them (even the ones that tell the truth). Dishonest political advertising is damaging our democracy.

Solution

1.   Require all factual claims used in political adverts to be pre-cleared
2.   Give an existing body the power to regulate political advertising content or create a new one to do so
3.   Legislate so that all paid-for political adverts can be viewed by the public on a single searchable website (so groups can’t hide dishonest ads from anybody)
4.   Require political advertisers to carry an imprint or watermark to show the sponsor of the advert

You can read more about what we are proposing for factual claims here.

Thanks for signing this petition now.

Personal story

Benedict Pringle has run the website politicaladvertising.co.uk for over 10 years and Alex Tait has worked in marketing departments for some of the UK’s biggest companies.

They both noticed that in recent elections and referenda more groups were creating more political adverts more often.

In the pre-digital era there were relatively few political adverts and it was possible for the media to hold politicians to account for their claims. Whilst a lack of regulation in political advertising would occasionally cause problems, the scale of the issue was small.

However the huge growth in social and digital media has meant that many more people are trying to impact the result of elections and it is impossible for the media to be able to hold even a small proportion of actors to account for their claims.
Both Alex and Benedict feel that lies in political advertising are contributing to a degradation in political debate, a perpetuation of “fake news” and a decline in the legitimacy of democratic decision-making.

Together they founded the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising: a group of people and organisations that believe that the open and honest debate of issues facing our country is fundamental to our democracy and who want to reform political advertising legislation to help maintain it.
 



Today: Benedict is counting on you

Benedict & Alex needs your help with “reformpoliticalads”. Join Benedict and 1,796 supporters today.