AA and Media Smart explain ‘What’s the deal with political advertising?’

Media Smart and the Advertising Association (AA) are looking to help voters better understand election ads run by political parties in the run up to the upcoming general election.

‘What’s the deal with political advertising’ will be led by a 30-second hero film that features some commonly-asked questions about election advertising, and points viewers in the direction of ad industry-funded NGO Media Smart’s ten-point guide to improving election literacy, specifically in first-time voters.

Developed by cinema advertising specialists Pearl & Dean, the spot will run across theatres nationwide as well as Channel 4 broadcaster video-on-demand.

Supporting the key creative will also be a series of out-of-home executions targeting potential first-time voters near university accommodation and sixth form colleges.

“Encouraging young voters to vote, and vote with confidence, is a key part of Media Smart’s mission in the run up to this general election,” Media Smart executive director, Rachel Barber-Mack said.

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“Voters should be equipped to understand the messages they will see via advertising and this awareness campaign will help empower political literacy at this vital time.”

Designed in partnership with youth-focused creative agency Livity, the guide addresses numerous potential questions around electoral advertising such as digital and AI-generated content; misinformation and fact-checking.

The campaign is informed by the insight that 44% of people are concerned about political advertising, with most significantly less likely to trust political advertising (29%) than regular advertising (39%).

AA CEO, Stephen Woodford added: “The countdown to the ballot box is now on and while advertising by political parties is not subject to regulation by the ASA, I believe the advertising industry has a responsibility to educate voters about how the tools of our industry will be used during this time.

“This is only possible thanks to the generosity of industry partners providing media inventory to help share these resources and I encourage any media owners wishing to donate ad space to get in touch.”

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