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Opinium research shows that 56% would trust electoral ads more if they knew they were regulated.

Alex Tait

You can read about the significant progress of our campaign and donate here. We’ve done all of this on a shoestring and by relying on unpaid volunteers. However, the reality is that following the 2024 General Election we really need your help to achieve our campaign goal of making electoral advertising regulation a reality.

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Research by Opinium commissioned by RPA in the last week confirms the findings from previous studies by showing that 76% of the UK voting public would “support it being a requirement in the UK that factual claims in election adverts must be accurate?” Only 4% would oppose such a measure.

65% of respondents either thought that electoral ads are regulated or didn’t know either way. This finding is highly significant – people are more likely to believe (misleading) ads if they think they’re regulated.

This research also found that political advertising is the least trusted of various forms (banks, retailers, price comparison websites etc.): some 25% of respondents ‘completely distrust’ ads from political parties, and a total of 57% mostly or completely distrust their ads. This finding is consistent with recent Advertising Association/ Credos research which finds people significantly less likely to trust political advertising than all/ commercial advertising.

Finally, some crumbs of comfort, or more accurately some support for our solution: 56% would trust ads more if they knew they were regulated ‘by an authority such as the ASA’. Again, this is consistent with Ad Association findings ‘that those who saw or heard the ASA’s ads were more than twice as likely to trust most ads than those who didn’t.’

Alex Tait, Co-Founder of Reform Political Advertising said “the misleading ads we’ve we and others have found across the political spectrum this General Election has provided ample evidence yet again of the urgent need for regulation. Opinium research has shown that the public would overwhelmingly support it and that that electoral ads are the least trusted form of advertising across all the sectors we compared them against, including supermarkets and price comparison websites, with only 10% of the UK public trusting them.

The case has never been stronger for electoral ad regulation being amongst the first steps our politicians should take in rebuilding trust in politics.

Regulation was recommended by a cross-party committee of the House of Lords in 2020 and we’ve demonstrated with our advertising review panel this election how the process can practically work in practice.”

You can download the raw research here.

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