Renew joins the Green Party, the Independent Group for Change and the UK’s advertising trade body ISBA, in supporting the campaign. The group has called for the other main parties to support the Coalition and its recommendations.
The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising is a volunteer-run, politically-neutral project, which was founded in May 2018. Its recommendations are summarised in a four-point plan, which promotes transparency and accuracy in political campaigning:
- Legislate so that all paid-for political adverts can be viewed by the public
- Give an existing body the power to regulate political advertising content or create a new one to do so
- Require all objective factual claims used in political adverts to be substantiated
- Compulsory imprints or watermarks to show the origin of online adverts
Two of their demands have since been recommended by the DCMS following its Disinformation and “Fake News” inquiry.
Firstly to have an independent database containing all political ads to ensure transparency in the political ads that are running.
Secondly, to have mandatory imprints on digital political ads which would enforce online adverts to show who had paid for them. The government has also outlined plans to enact this in legislation in the Queen’s Speech “in the coming months”.
However, with an early general election looming it is likely nothing will have changed by the time it takes place. The group are demanding emergency legislation before the election covering all the points in their plan.
Julie Girling, Interim Leader of Renew, said:
“Recent years have seen a decline in the value placed on truth, honesty and openness in political campaigning – but these have never been more crucial. To compound things, regulation in political advertising has thus far been left behind by rapid technological change. We therefore fully support the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising and its blueprint for fairer, more transparent campaigning and call on other parties to do the same.”
Alex Tait, co-founder of the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising, added:
“We are delighted the Renew Party are supporting the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising. As we head into a general election modernising the rules around political advertising has never been more urgent. It is amazing that despite all the media coverage and various inquiries there have been no significant changes in this area since the 2015 election and Brexit referendum.”