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HM Authorities

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The federal government’s MyTown marketing campaign

Fb says it has taken down authorities promoting that was accused of focusing on voters in marginal election constituencies.

The social media agency stated the advertisements “weren’t appropriately labelled” and didn’t embrace the compulsory disclaimer.

Every of the advertisements within the marketing campaign, first reported by HuffPost UK, stated the federal government was investing “as much as £25m” in a named city.

However the authorities stated it was all the time deliberate to finish the promotion {today}.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Native Authorities maintains the commercials weren’t “pulled” by Fb.

A spokesperson added: “Whereas the posts are nonetheless current on Fb, they’re now not being promoted because the paid-for marketing campaign has ended.”

One Labour MP stated it was an “outrageous” use of public cash.

Key election battlegrounds

The “MyTown” marketing campaign promoted the federal government’s £3.6bn Cities Fund in a number of key common election battlegrounds, resembling Northampton, Milton Keynes and Mansfield.

Every of those include a marginal constituency, one the place there have been fewer than 2,000 votes separating the {top} two candidates within the final common election or parliamentary by-election.

Parliament has not but been dissolved and the civil service has not but entered the pre-election interval, often known as “purdah”, the place it’s barred from making main bulletins that may affect the end result of the vote.

However the advertisements went stay on Tuesday, the identical day Boris Johnson secured assist for an early common election on 12 December.

Fb stated the taxpayer-funded advertisements “weren’t appropriately labelled” as being about “social points, elections or politics”, consistent with its voluntary system to make social and political promoting extra clear.

A spokesman stated: “Advertisements about social points, elections or politics that seem on our platforms ought to embrace a disclaimer supplied by advertisers.”

It comes as Fb comes below strain over its insurance policies on fact-checking political promoting and as rival social media large Twitter banned political adverts altogether.

Labour MP Ian Lucas wrote to Cupboard Workplace minister Michael Gove objecting to the marketing campaign, saying the focused areas gave the impression to be chosen for political causes.

“It will be an insult to our intelligence to say that this is not public cash getting used for political functions. It clearly is,” he advised HuffPost UK, calling the marketing campaign “outrageous”.

A authorities spokesman advised the BBC that the posts have been printed earlier than the election was introduced.

“All cities chosen have been chosen in line with the identical choice methodology, together with evaluation of deprivation, publicity to Brexit, productiveness, economic system resilience and funding alternatives,” he stated.

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