Lib Dems would work with regulatory bodies to protect kids

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to slash government spending on advertising if they win the next general election.

Support for the party has grown in the wake of last week’s leaders’ TV debate. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s performance has boosted support for the party, with recent polls putting the party in first or second place.

Observers say the surge in pop­ul­arity is unlikely to translate into a parliamentary majority but it does increase the likelihood of a hung parliament and a possible coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems.

A spokeswoman says the party will “cut the number of press officers by half and also cut government advertising budgets back to 1997 levels”.

The Tories have also promised to return spending on marketing and communications to 1997 levels in real terms, while Labour has promised a 25% cut in departmental marketing budgets.

The spokeswoman adds that the party would not follow Labour and the Tories in setting up a website for parents to complain about inappropriate marketing and products aimed at children but would instead “work with the existing regulatory bodies to ensure that children are protected”.

“Further ways to complain are not likely to have much impact,” the spokeswomen explains.

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