BBC tells Conservative Party to remove edited Facebook ad featuring its reporters

Clip 'could damage perceptions of our impartiality', says Auntie

The BBC has complained to the Conservative Party over a Facebook advert that features video clips of news reporters Laura Kuenssberg and Huw Edwards.

The ad starts with Kuenssberg, in her natty jacket, saying "pointless delay to Brexit" followed by Edwards saying "another Brexit delay" with shaky shots of the House of Commons and flashed images of Jeremy Corbyn.

It goes on to claim that: "Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner" before ending with a plea to vote Conservative.

Auntie said: "We're aware of Conservative Party Facebook adverts using edited BBC content. This is a completely unacceptable use of BBC content which distorts our output and which could damage perceptions of our impartiality. We are asking the Conservatives to remove these adverts."

Facebook's Ad Library shows that the bit started being shown yesterday and is still live at the time of writing. It's already been seen by between 125,000 and 150,000 people in England and Wales.

The ad network also reveals at whom the advert was targeted. Some 29 per cent of viewers are men aged between 35 and 44 (22 per cent are women in that age group); 23 per cent are men aged between 45 and 54 and 19 per cent women aged 45-54.

The ad was not shown in Scotland, but 94 per cent of views came from England and 5 per cent from Wales. So far the Conservatives have handed Zuckerberg's minions between £2,000 and £2,500 to show the clip to voters.

The Conservative Party has given Facebook over £400,000 to show ads since October 2018 and £23,000 in the last seven days.

We've asked the party, Facebook and BBC News for a response but have yet to hear back.

You can drill into the details yourself on Facebook here. ®

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