Government challenged over ban on political advertising

LONDON – Animal Defenders International has launched a legal challenge to the government's ban on political advertising, which if successful would allow campaigning organisations to advertise on radio and television.

The current ban on political advertising means that campaigning organisations with no connection to any political party may not use broadcast media to campaign on issues.

The government has conceeded permission to challenge the ban with a court case scheduled for early 2006.

ADI will argue that the ban is too widely drafted to include organisations that "aim to influence public opinion on a matter of controversy" and interferes with the right to freedom of expression.

If ADI wins the case it will pave the way for politically natured campaigns such as ADI's Cruelty to animals and Oxfam's Make Poverty History to air on radio and TV in the UK, which initially ran on UK TV before being banned.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI, said: "This concerns the exercise of free speech, which there is no justification in prohibiting. The BACC refused our advertisement on the basis that our aims are 'political'." 

She added: "In summary, the protectionist approach towards the public and public opinion, together with the imbalance in engaging the voice of broadcast advertising, cannot be upheld as necessary in a democratic society."

The challenge follows Ofcom's decision to ban the Make Poverty History ads from UK television after they were declared political by media regulator Ofcom.

The ads featured celebrities such as Kate Moss and Brad Pitt clicking their fingers and were created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

On making the ruling Ofcom appeared regretful, saying in a statement that it could not make exceptions from good and bad politics.

"Ofcom can not differentiate between what some may describe as 'good politics' and 'bad politics'. Rather, Ofcom must, as a matter of law, only look at whether the political advertising rules have been complied with," the regulator said.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.

You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Cannes Offer: 12 weeks' online access from just £12

Subscribe to Campaign before the end of Cannes Lions and save up to 71%

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Publicis Groupe withdraws from marketing and awards to focus on AI-powered platform Marcel

Publicis Groupe is pulling out of all marketing activity for the next 365 days - and won't be entering awards at Cannes next year - as it focuses its resources on developing Marcel, described by chief executive Arthur Sadoun as a ground breaking new platform.

Job description: Digital marketing executive
Shares0
Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

Just published

More