Political advertising


Madam, - A proposal to alter the restrictions on political and religious advertising is long overdue (News, November 16th). The decision, some weeks ago, by RTÉ to ban a fundraising advertisement by the Shell to Sea campaign is an indication of the folly which underlies this ban. Defining what comes under the scope of a political campaign is a delicate but, ultimately, subjective judgement.

An oil company or car manufacturer advertising a "green" approach to business is a highly political act. But our current system views commercial interests as if they existed in a political vacuum.

The US system, where political advertising becomes a function of profits is, of course, wholly undesirable. But the current legislation creates an environment where advocates of the profit-first approach to building a society are given free rein over the airwaves while proponents of an alternative viewpoint are restricted.

Surely we can find a middle ground which accommodates legitimate commercial advertising, allows freedom of speech but doesn't allow the airwaves to be taken over by political organisations. - Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.