Charities to be given go-ahead for TV ads

Charities are set to boost their advertising spend following moves to relax the rules on their freedom to run broadcast ad campaigns.

The Charity Commission is expected on Thursday (31 January) to approve new guidelines that would open the door to charities such as Greenpeace launching campaigns that in the past would have been deemed too "political".

The Commission will hold talks with human rights, animal welfare and anti-poverty charities. Its new rules suggest they will have "greater scope to carry out political activities within the legal framework".

Until now, the Commission has ruled that political work must remain incidental to a charity's purposes. In future, trustees will be allowed to decide that such a campaign would be the best way to further their charity's aims. They will be able to spend all of their resources in this way "for a period", but it should not be the only activity they carry out.

Campaigns using "emotive or controversial material" will be allowed if it is justified by the context and sticks to the ad industry's code of practice.

It is unclear whether pressure groups that have been denied charitable status will benefit from the guidelines, set to be issued this month.

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