Just nine months after the Referendum that changed the game, Theresa May took the first official step towards exiting the EU on Wednesday and triggered Article 50, much to everyone’s despair/delight/indifference (delete as applicable). Brexit has meant Brexit for almost a year but the real work starts now, so the AA’s brand new Brexit Task Force kicked off this week right on the PM’s timetable.

Set up to direct UK advertising’s strategy along the path to Brexit, our BTF members and Chair James Murphy have set out advertising’s view of what good looks like from the negotiations: prioritising access to European and global talent, keeping regulation in line with European standards where it needs to and keeping a weather eye on the UK’s global lead in advertising and media services. No small ask, then.

It’s all happening step-by-step with the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, where all things advertising must make their case in a post-Brexit macro-economic makeover. Armed with five years’ of Advertising Pays data, AA Boss Stephen Woodford soon got stuck in, spending Wednesday at the CBI at a Creative Industries roundtable hosted by CBI Deputy Director Josh Hardie, and hot-footing it over to the Creative Industries Council the following morning. Kate’s got the inside scoop if you’re looking for more.

If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit…

…it seems you’re out of luck, if this week’s double-helping of obesity news is anything to go by. First-up, the influential Health Select Committee, led by Sarah Wollaston MP, released its follow-up to the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. And – wouldn’t you know it – they’re hungry for more ad bans.

CAP’s new rules start to bite on 1st July and will bar any HFSS ad in media targeted at kids. But the Committee wants more and if that means interfering in adults’ choices too, well “it would be no bad thing… if adults were exposed to less advertising of unhealthy food.” That’s us told. Wollaston and Co. are now pushing for a re-examination of the case for restrictions on advertising – this, of course, is precisely what Public Health England spent 2016 doing, describing the available studies as of “variable quality” with results that were “mixed” and samples which were “relatively small”. Talking of which…

PHE unveiled its sugar reduction targets on Wednesday, or as was more widely reported, a plan to “shrink the nation’s chocolate bars.” On the face of it, not much for advertising to see here, except over in The Times, Health Chief Duncan Selbie was reported to be ready to urge “ministers to clamp down on advertising, if the targets are not met…”

And if that lot has whetted your appetite for more advice on ad-land and adiposity, Michael’s the man.

The most important meal of the day

In times of change, it pays to stick together… said someone, somewhere. That’s why your Association’s here to make sure advertising makes the most of every opportunity that comes its way – and why we reckon there’s never been a better time for advertising to be on the Front Foot… Which, segue fans, just happens to be the theme of our first Front Foot Breakfast of 2017.

On Friday 28th April at News UK’s London Bridge HQ, we’ll set out our upcoming research, engagement and events. There’s something for everyone – creatives, planners, PR and public affairs teams, new biz, trade and business marketing… Come and grab some food for thought with your breakfast butties – but make sure Kate knows you’re coming.

And finally…

There’s an old saying around these parts… nobody really ever leaves. So a shout out this week to AA alumni Leila Siddiqi – one time intern at AA Towers, now Head of Diversity at the IPA and nominee for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Congratulations Leila – now go get the trophy.

For our ad of the week and more advertising news, click here.

Brexit front foot obesity