Electoral advertising authorisation

Updated: 2 February 2018

Anyone intending to place electoral advertising must ensure that all advertisements are appropriately authorised.

Current authorisation requirements are available in Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and outlined in the AEC’s electoral backgrounder for electoral advertising.

New rules for authorising  electoral, referendum and political matters

New rules will apply from 15 March 2018 when providing authorisations in federal electoral advertisements and other communications defined under legislation, including broadcasting of political matter.  

The Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (the Act) takes effect on 15 March 2018, extending the application of existing authorisations to modern communication channels, including online platforms.

From 15 March 2018, failure to comply with the new authorisation requirements will be subject to a civil penalty regime, to be administered by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Further details of the new authorisation requirements will be informed by a legislative instrument that will be available here soon. Examples of authorisation compliance using a range of different communication channels are contained in the Act and will be further informed by the legislative instrument. 

Planning electoral advertising

When planning advertising for elections and referendums, or broadcasting political matter, that will run on or after 15 March 2018 it is important to ensure that the development of creative content allows sufficient space and flexibility to include a compliant authorisation.