January 30, 2017
Speaking at the Advertising Association’s LEAD 2017 summit last week, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley said: “If you are to take one thing away from what I say today, please let it be that the Government is foursquare behind the advertising industry”.
Ms Bradley told her audience that Credos, the advertising industry think tank, has found that there is a £5 billion gap between what people are willing to pay and the true cost of advertising-funded media they receive. “I will be very conscious of that as we look at things like internet advertising filters”, she said.
Ms Bradley recognised that an industry that is so woven into the fabric of the whole economy is particularly vulnerable during times of economic difficulty, and uncertainty will make businesses reluctant to invest. In fact, a fall in ad spend was one of the first indicators of the last recession, she said.
In Ms Bradley’s view, “it is quite right that the creative industries are highlighted in the Government’s green paper Building our Industrial Strategy”, which was published last week.
The Industrial Strategy’s overarching aim is to enable the Government to identify all of the opportunities throughout the economy, so that businesses can grow, create more jobs, and spread economic success right across the country, Ms Bradley said. The purpose of the green paper is not to lay down the law, but rather to “start a conversation”. Before the consultation closes on 17 April, Ms Bradley said that she is “very eager for you to help us make the case for the creative industries in general and advertising in particular”.
Ms Bradley said that sector deals will be open for both established and emerging industries, and the Government will “work with any sector that can organise behind strong leadership”. Such deals can be struck, she said, “when an industry can demonstrate a strategy to transform their prospects”. This could include such matters as: helping to align policies on training and skills; addressing regulatory issues; helping to identify market barriers; and promoting the creation and spread of new technologies.
Moreover, Ms Bradley said, there is a “specific focus on creative industries in the green paper” and that, in addition, Sir Peter Bazalgette is conducting an independent sector review, which will focus on three key themes: utilising new technologies, capitalising on intellectual property rights, and growing talent pipelines.
In conclusion, Ms Bradley said that UK advertising is “something about which we can all be very proud”. More than that, she said, “it is one of the industries that most makes me optimistic about this country’s prospects. And this Government will be backing the advertising industry as we make a success of Brexit”. To read Ms Bradley’s speech in full, click here.