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The Culture Secretary John Whittingdale addressed the ISBA conference. In his speech he outlined issues that are facing the industry including the contribution the ad industry contributes to the UK economy.
John Whittingdale recognised that advertising is the UK's second biggest creative industry in cash terms, in real jobs in the economy and for exports.
John Whittingdale welcomed ISBA input to the case for advertising and the advice from Ian Twinn and Bob Wootton. Advertising is an essential component of a properly operating free market, allowing consumers to make informed choices. He also praised the ad industry self-regulatory system that ensure advertisement keep within the rules which protect consumers and ensure competition.
John Whitingdale recognised that advertising to children is a concern and in the context of obesity he acknowledged the valuable offer that ISBA, AA, food and drink companies and the media have made to Government to work constructively together in a partnership with Government to tackle obesity. At ISBA we believe there is no simple solution to obesity and like John Whittingdale believe that the solution will need to include education and consistent messaging.
John Whittingdale welcomed the industry initiative and understood industry frustration and the uncertainty caused by the delays to a strategy caused by a very engaged debate within the government. We are keen to get this right.
The Secretary of State welcomed ITV and others commitment to using the content of programming to work with these health message once government announces its strategy
The Government’s option for C4 are still open but there is no clarity on timing. John Whittingdale strongly agreed with advertisers on maintaining distinctive programme content that has distinguished C4 and that advertisers value.
John Whittingdale spoke about Ad Blockers as a disruptive tech, which is indiscriminate in its blocking and does more harm than good. The Secretary described them as modern day Al Capone’s demanding money to allow advertisement through. Users tend to forget that it is advertising that funds free access to content for the public. There is a danger that ad blocking will destroy the business model for news media now setting up successfully online.
There are some things that advertisers can do and that is to make advertisement more attractive and less boring.
The Secretary is leading the way with getting together a round table of experts which should include advertisers.
Click here to view his speech
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