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It’s time to separate the real from the make believe

Benedict Pringle

Today we are launching a new campaign “separate the real from the make believe” which demands legislation to stop lies in political advertising.

Our three eye-catching adverts are now live across outdoor poster sites, social media and lots of popular websites.

As the likelihood of a second Brexit referendum or snap election increases the need for urgent change to political advertising legislation grows too.

The time has come to stop political campaigns being free to make wild and unsubstantiated claims.

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.

According to a new YouGov survey commissioned by The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising and FullFact 84% of voters think there should be a legal requirement for factual claims in political advertisements to be accurate.

We are calling on the DCMS Select Committee inquiry on Disinformation and ‘fake news’ – led by Damian Collins MP – to include our four-point plan in their recommendations, due out in December.

Benedict Pringle, co-founder of the Coalition, says: “When false claims are made during election campaigns, it undermines the moral authority of the result and increases voters’ distrust in politics more generally.”

Alex Tait, co-founder of the Coalition continues: “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. It’s time for a change.”

The four-point plan is:

  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 watermarks to show the sponsor of the advert

Phil Smith, Director General of ISBA, the body who represent the UK’s leading advertisers, says: “ISBA supports the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising’s 4-point plan and agrees there is urgency for there to be agreement in how political advertising should be more closely regulated ahead of any potential upcoming electoral processes.”

To join the Coalition sign up here and help fund our campaign war chest by donating here.

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We are not for profit and are run by unpaid volunteers. We rely on donations to continue our work. Please donate to our campaign here.

Sign our petition

Add your name to our many supporters that want change.