Don’t look MAC in anger

On Tuesday, the Migration Advisory Committee published a report on the impact of EEA migration in the UK. The committee said that the workers make a positive contribution to public finances and suggests that EU workers should be subject to the same visa rules as other migrants, although the UK may offer them special status under a Brexit deal. It also recommends a policy allowing greater access for higher-skilled migration while restricting access for lower-skilled workers.The importance of international talent to the UK ad industry was a key focus of our Ad Pays 6 report.

Our Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford, made the following statement on the proposals:

“We welcome aspects of the report from the Migration Advisory Committee, however there are important areas that the MAC report has not considered. For example, the salary cap on Tier 2 prohibits many opportunities for young talent from overseas to build their career here. It also does not account for temporary movement of talent in and out for work requirements – fly in fly out – which is often critical to deliver fast-moving advertising services that cater for international clients and international territories.

“Our openness to talent has been a core part of our development as a world-class hub for advertisers and it is a crucial component of our connection with our trading partners in the EU27, as well as the wider world.”

You can read the full statement here, and a BBC article on the report here.

A gambol around the media

Yesterday, the Labour Party proposed a number of manifesto policies to tackle gambling addiction, including advertising restrictions. The headline proposal is for a ‘whistle to whistle’ ban on gambling adverts shown on live sport for a specified time before and after a game, and during half time or other breaks. And the AA was prominent across the media defending the industry.

Responding to the proposals, Stephen commented:

“The Gambling Commission’s findings in late 2017 drew a clear line with regards gambling advertising after a thorough review of what is undoubtedly an important and complex area.

“The proposed ‘Whistle To Whistle’ ban goes against the findings and would have a damaging economic effect on our UK commercial media landscape, as well as make watching live sport more expensive and less accessible for the UK public.

You can read the full statement here. It has been covered by over 100 publications so far, including The Guardian, The Times and The Sun.

Stephen also appeared on Victoria Derbyshire (50 minutes in), BBC One O’Clock News (14:40 minutes in) and Channel 5 evening news, and spoke on BBC Radio 5 Live (10 minutes in) and a number of regional stations including BBC Radio Berkshire.

The Bourn Legacy

Back in July, our Director of Communications, Matt Bourn, gave evidence to the London Assembly’s Budget & Performance Committee. The session focussed on TfL finances, and Matt highlighted the potential revenue loss that could occur as a result of the Mayor’s proposed HFSS advertising restrictions on the TfL estate.

Gareth Bacon AM, Conservative Leader of the GLA, noted our concerns around the Mayor’s proposals, and has now raised the issue during Mayor’s Question Time. Mr Bacon asked how much revenue the Mayor expected to lose by banning HFSS adverts on the TfL network, restating our case and challenging the Mayor’s proposals.

The full exchange can be read here.

Latest from around Government

Various media outlets are reporting on leaked proposals from the Home Office and DCMS to create a new ‘internet regulator’ that would tackle issues such as illegal content and hate speech. The leak also suggests that the Government is considering creating a new regulator for online advertising that would have powers to crack down on online ads for HFSS products, despite the fact that the ASA already regulates online ads. Our understanding is that discussions within Government are still ongoing, and there are currently no official plans for a new online advertising regulator.

In other news, EU leaders have reacted coolly to the Chequers plan in Salzburg, with the Irish Border proposal being the main sticking point. This current impasse obviously increases the chance of a no deal. The UK government are expect to develop their position and we will report back as soon as we hear anything and how it might affect no deal planning.

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