For how long does material need an imprint?

In all cases, digital material must include an imprint for as long as both:

  • the imprint is required by the law
  • the material remains published

Material remains published for as long as it is being made available to the public or a section of the public. For example, if a post remains available on your social media channels, then it remains published.

Organic material

For organic material, the imprint is required on material published by a relevant entity for as long as the published material remains any of:

  • election material
  • referendum material
  • recall petition material

Because these types of material are all related to a particular electoral event, in many cases the imprint will stop being required once that event is over.

For example, a video saying ‘Vote NO on 10 May’ in relation to an upcoming referendum will cease to be referendum material after 10 May when the referendum is over.

Paid adverts

For a paid advert, an imprint is required for as long as the material remains political material.

How long the material remains political material will depend on who or what your material is reasonably regarded as intended to influence public support for or against. If the material is linked to a particular electoral event or electoral cycle, then it will have a natural end point. For example:

  • a future candidate could decide not to stand
  • a candidate ceases to be a candidate after polling day
  • an elected office-holder ceases to be an elected office-holder when their term ends
  • support for or against a particular outcome in a referendum cannot be influenced after polling day

Some political material will not have such a clear end point. For example, material promoting support for or against a political party could continue doing that for as long as the party exists.

Last updated: 2 November 2023