What sort of material requires an imprint?

There are two different sets of criteria which determine if your digital material requires an imprint under the Elections Act 2022.

The first applies to paid adverts. The second applies to any other material. This guidance refers to material that is not a paid advert as ‘organic material’.

If you have paid for the material to be published as an advert, then it must have an imprint if it is ‘political material’. This requirement applies to anyone publishing political material as a paid advert.

If you have not paid for the material to be published as an advert, then it is organic material. Organic material must have an imprint if it is election material, referendum material or recall petition material, and it is published by or on behalf of a relevant entity, such as a candidate or registered political party.

There are also exceptions for some kinds of material under the Elections Act. This guidance refers to these as exemptions.

All these concepts are explained in more detail in the following sections.

Imprints are important for transparency in campaigning. It is therefore good practice to include an imprint on all digital material that relates to elections, referendums or recall petitions, even if the material does not require one by law.

A flowchart describing what kind of material needs an imprint
Last updated: 2 November 2023