Tag Archives: adverts

Ministers accused of using public funds for ‘Tory propaganda’ ads. Are they lies too?

Fit for recycling? In 2019, Tory newspaper ads were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as a pack of lies. Are these new ads about ‘Levelling Up’ similarly fact-free?

‘Levelling Up’ Ministers have been accused of using more than £100,000 of public money to flood local newspapers and Facebook with “Tory propaganda”, weeks before the local elections.

The Tory government has funded Facebook adverts promoting ‘levelling up’ spending in more than 30 areas, including many places where the Conservatives are hoping to make gains or defend council seats in May.

It has also used public money to fund wraparound adverts to cover the fronts of local newspapers, claiming to have been ‘levelling up’ across a map of the UK with the union flag.

Places targeted include tight council areas like Southend, Great Yarmouth, Derby, Wolverhampton and Walsall and general election marginals including Darlington, Blyth Valley, and Stoke-on-Trent.

There are also reports of radio adverts and even digital billboards in town centres.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities refused to say how much was being spent on the advertising campaign –  but it is likely to be far higher in total than the £100,000 spent on Facebook ads alone.

The Labour Party has been up in arms about the campaign, which has been launched just before the official “purdah” period that prevents the government from making public announcements or running campaigns – but low regulation around election advertising means little can be done.

According to The Guardian, Lisa Nandy said, “This is now a government so lacking in ambition that it literally has to pay people to promote its flagship policies.”

But a government spokesperson said: “These claims are untrue. Our levelling up campaign is running across the UK with areas chosen to portray real life examples of levelling up.”

This Writer’s advice is for Labour’s MPs to fact-check every claim in the Tory adverts.

Back in 2019, Boris Johnson’s Tory government paid for a series of wraparound adverts promoting Universal Credit…

They were swiftly banned by the Advertising Standards Authority as a pack of lies.

Source: Ministers accused of using public funds for ‘Tory propaganda’ ads

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