Australian ad body The AANA announces support for modernising the rules around political advertising

After the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising approached the AANA (the Australian advertiser trade body) with its plan it has clarified that it supports updating the rules around political advertising.

Zali Steggal MP is amongst many now calling for laws to force the removal of false claims or to hit political parties with fines or reductions in public funding.

Successful models addressing misleading claims include industry self-regulation in New Zealand and making misleading advertising an offence in South Australia. 

 The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising’s framework for political ad reform provides options to safeguard electoral processes in digitally mature democracies.

The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising is supported by Bluestripe Media, the owner of New Digital Age.

The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising said:  “Our framework is by no means exhaustive. In putting our plan together we wanted to gain momentum for the campaign by targeting areas it was hard to argue against, and which would also have the biggest impact.  

We are now calling for organisations in Australia interested in setting up campaigns based on, or including the principles in our plan, to get in touch with us as we’d be happy to provide guidance.” 

John Broome, CEO of the AANA states:

In relation to political advertising, the AANA supports the call for the harmonisation of political advertising regulation in line with our stated object that advertising should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and a sense of fairness to competitors.”

Alex Tait, Co-founder, The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising said:

“In the era of disinformation and “fake news” digitally-mature democracies are facing common challenges around the world. We are delighted that after approaching them the AANA have confirmed that they support the modernisation of the rules around political advertising in Australia. 

The Coalition’s international framework consists of i) reform we believe should be common to all digitally mature democracies and ii) reform we believe that should be considered for all countries.”

The Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising’s recommendations include:

Reform we believe should be common to all digitally mature democracies

1.    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)

2.    Require political advertisers to carry an imprint or watermarks to show the sponsor of the advert 

Reform we believe that should be considered for all countries. 

3.    Require all objective factual claims used in political adverts to be substantiated.

4.    Create a body to regulate political advertising.

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