The chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority takes to The Guardian to talk about the regulation of political advertising. The interest being that there’re loads of people talking in the comments about how desirable this all is. And no one at all – well, except me – asking how it would actually work.
What is it that cannot be said, how would regulation change what has been said? Someone, somewhere, really needs to answer this question:
Why not try to apply regulation to an ad that has already happened and see what we’d say about it?
Take the red bus and the £350 million or whatever it was. Exactly the sort of thing that is driving this insistence that there should be this regulation. Actually, exactly the example that is.
OK, regulation of political advertising would mean what in this case?
It is not possible to say that the UK sends money to the EU? It is possible to say that but not that it’s £350 million, but only £240 million? (Or whatever the difference between the gross and net number is/was). It is possible to say that it’s £240 million and this is a good thing, but not possible to say that it’s £240 million and a bad thing? It’s possible to say that the money is sent but not that if it weren’t it could be spent on the NHS? Or what?
What would the actual difference be that regulation would make to this specific example that so many people complain about?
Anyone want to try this? What would the – or any – proposed system of regulation have done about this specific claim?
Interested in any useful answers here …….