NUJ concerned by misleading Universal Credit advertising

By agency reporter
May 24, 2019

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for running a misleading PR campaign about Universal Credit.

The DWP campaign includes unbranded wraparound advertorials and features that promote Universal Credit, but they are not clearly labelled as paid advertisements and advertorial information.

The first tranche of features appeared in some Metro newspapers on the same day as the UN Special Rapporteur's report on Poverty in the UK was released (22 May 2019).

NUJ NEC representative Natasha Hirst said: "It is a gross injustice and an insult to all disabled people who have shared their stories and to the journalists who have ethically reported on them, for the DWP to dismiss and misrepresent the appalling impact of their damaging system of Universal Credit.

"The DWP campaign to disseminate inaccurate and misleading communications about the Government's Universal Credit system is funded by taxpayers' money and in breach of the Government Communication Service propriety guidelines."

Ann Galpin, chair of NUJ disabled members' council and co-chair of the TUC disabled workers' committee, added: “We are appalled that these misleading wraparounds and features have appeared in the Metro today, coinciding with the release of Philip Alston's report on poverty in the UK, which heavily criticises austerity and welfare reform."

* Disability Rights UK https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

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