The Party Manifestos: What do we know?

Posted on Monday 17 June 2024 | IAB UK

Read our breakdown of what the Labour and Conservative Party manifestos tell us about policies relating to digital advertising 

We’ve reached the mid-point of the 2024 general election campaign and the main parties have now published their manifestos. As expected, they contain little direct reference to digital advertising, but there are key points that indicate what we might expect from each. Here’s a closer look at what we know… 

Labour’s Manifesto    

There isn’t an overt focus on technology in the Labour manifesto, but the underlying message is that more needs to be done to regulate emerging technology and to prioritise online safety. Labour commits to: 

  • Implementing the ban on advertising of products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) – as members will know, a ban on online ads for ‘less healthy food and drink’ products has already been introduced into law but the final parts of the process to implement it haven’t yet been completed. Find the latest here  

  • Building on the Online Safety Act to bring forward new provisions as quickly as possible. It’s currently unclear where these will be focused but there are references to inappropriate content for children and misogyny. Labour will also explore further online safety measures for social media 

  • Introducing a new expanded fraud strategy to tackle the full range of threats from fraud, including online. As part of this, Labour will work with technology companies to stop their platforms being exploited by fraudsters 

  • Creating a new Regulatory Innovation Office aimed at speeding up tech regulators’ decision-making, improve accountability and promote innovation 

  • Ensuring the safe development and use of AI models by introducing binding regulation on the companies developing the most powerful AI models   

The Conservative’s’ Manifesto  

While there is limited detail on digital regulation in the Conservative manifesto, there is a strong focus on digital technology as “a force for good” and a general commitment to regulate it in a way that enables growth, particularly with regard to AI. There are two parts of the manifesto that relate to digital advertising: 

  • A renewed commitment to the ban on HFSS advertising, and a pledge to gather new evidence on the impact of ultra-processed food 

  • Age verification technologies are singled out as an area needing improvement and there is a commitment to build on existing responsibilities placed on tech providers through the Online Safety Act 

We will continue to keep IAB members updated about developments in the lead up to 4 July. You can find out more about our policy priorities here.  

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