‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’

If you want to read an absolute diatribe against the political advertising and political PR industry, this is for you.  Having posted yesterday about my desire to increase the realm and scope of political advertising in the UK, I thought it only fair to concede that, undoubtedly, there are significant downsides some of which are articulated fairly clearly in the above film.  

Despite everything in the video and all that is said in the article, I stand by the argument that our democracy suffers because paid for and direct political communication isn’t permitted on the most popular media platform.


  1. That clip focuses on the legal gymnastics that lobbying companies and political organisations go to in order to support candidates, causes and issues – which, incidentally, is also technically legal in the UK.

    There’s something called a Third Party Group under UK law which is effectively unconstrained (the spending cap is somewhere near 1 million). It would be legal for a wealthy donor to set up 650 of these Third Parties to campaign in 650 constituencies for 650 different (Labour or Conservative) candidates. The difference between the UK and US is that in the UK, we somehow JUST DON’T DO IT! Our political lobbyists are relatively constrained.

    And, by the way, that clip focused on websites which are also unregulated in the UK.

    I don’t see that the problems exposed by Maddow necessarily make an argument against TV advertising.

  2. Hi Billy, you’re right the video focuses on websites and PR. The point, that I failed to make clear, is that liberalisation of broadcast political advertising laws will undoubtedly lead to the proliferation of media attention for what some might regard as unsavoury causes or organisations.

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