Parleying with Parliament

On Tuesday evening, over 80 people from the worlds of advertising and politics attended the annual AA Parliamentary Reception in Westminster. The event showcased the Promote UK initiative, which aims to increase exports of British advertising services. It also featured successful recent campaigns from Above+Beyond, adam&eveDDB, Framestore, M&C Saatchi, MBA, and Nexus, demonstrating the innovation and expertise which are hallmarks of UK advertising.

Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Select Committee (and formerly of M&C Saatchi) hosted the event and said that advertising is one of the crown jewels of the British creative industries. Following that, our Chief Executive Stephen Woodford highlighted the opportunities for UK advertising on the global stage and how the country can meet the challenges and opportunities of leaving the EU.

The IPA’s Janet Hull – who also chairs Promote UK – elaborated on Promote UK’s upcoming calendar of events, which includes high-profile representation on the recent West Coast Trade Mission to the US and the forthcoming Shanghai International Advertising Festival, and SXSW. Philip Thomas, Chief Executive of Ascential Events, was also present and noted the excellent performance of the UK at Cannes Lions over recent years and that promoting local British talent will be vital as Brexit approaches.

You can read more about our Parliamentary Reception here.


HFSS ban announced on TfL estate

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today confirmed plans to ban high fat, salt and sugar advertising across the TfL estate, coming into effect in February 2019.

In response, our Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford, issued the following statement: “There is no clear evidence that a ban on high fat, salt and sugar advertising on the TfL out-of-home estate will have a positive effect on reducing childhood obesity rates in London. We all want to see rates of childhood obesity dropping but believe there are far better ways to achieve this goal.

“Not only will this measure fail to achieve the end goal of reducing childhood obesity, it will also damage businesses in our capital and reduce TfL’s income from advertising, with the potential of putting increased pressure on commuters through higher fares. At the same time, it is missing the opportunity of using advertising’s support to solve the problem in a more effective way. There has been little interest to date from the Mayor’s office in working together with industry to proactively tackle this important issue; however, we remain ready to work with the Mayor’s office in a constructive way.”

Stephen appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning to discuss the ban, which can be viewed here from 2 hours 11 minutes in. Our Director of Public Affairs, Sue Eustace, also appeared on London Live and ITN.


LEADing the way

We have announced the agenda and speaker line-up for our 8th annual LEAD summit on 30 January 2019. LEAD is the only event in the industry to bring together leaders from the political, brand, media and agency sectors, and as such, is where advertising meets politics.

LEAD 2019 will focus on the key themes of Trust, Trade and Transformation, and will be chaired by renowned Journalist and Broadcaster Mary Nightingale. Highlights of the speaker list include Baroness Fairhead CBE (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, DIT), Tom Watson MP (Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and Shadow Secretary of State, DCMS), Dr Pippa Malmgren (Founder, H Robotics; Economist; Author; and former US Presidential Advisor) and Keith Weed (AA President and CMCO, Unilever).

To view the full agenda, speaker list and companies attending so far head over to our website here. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with our events team here.


Have I got EUs for EU…

It seems we’ve been waiting around 20 months for that metaphoric Brexit bus, but now two draft agreements have come in quick succession. Both the Withdrawal Agreement (the divorce) and the Future Framework (political declaration) has been agreed at negotiator level, but there is still all to play for. Theresa May still has her date with Jean-Claude Juncker this Saturday, before the Council meeting on Sunday.

The real test will be of course Parliament. May faced criticism from all quarters during PMQs. But she has managed to dodge a leadership challenge by the Dad’s army, led by arch-Brexiteer Rees-Mogg. If May can pull off a vote in Parliament, she ought to adopt Beyoncé’s Survivor as her theme tune at the next Tory party conference.


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