From November 2023 campaigners will need to include imprints on their digital campaign material.
Imprints are details that need to appear on political or election-related material to show who has produced and paid for the material. They need to include the name and address of the promoter and any person on behalf of whom the material is being published.
From November 2023, campaigners will be required to include imprints on their digital campaign material. This means that many types of digital material such as social media adverts, tweets and posts, will require an imprint. This is the same requirement as for physical campaign material, like leaflets and letters.
Digital imprint rules are already in place for some elections and referendums in Scotland.
Material requiring an imprint includes:
social media posts
adverts in online newspapers
direct messages on Whatsapp
It is also required on audio material such as adverts in podcasts or streams.
The rules will apply all year round, not just in the run up to an election, and will apply to anyone paying to place political adverts online.
An ordinary member of the public will not need to include an imprint on any organic digital material.
We are currently responsible for enforcing the law for imprints on printed election material for parties and non-party campaigners. Candidates are also required to add imprints to printed election material, and these laws are enforced by the police.
We will now have a similar responsibility for imprints on digital material.
We will also produce, for approval by Parliament, statutory guidance for parties and campaigners on the digital imprints requirements. This is for parties, non-party campaigners, candidates, future candidates, elected officeholders and recall petition campaigners.