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Public Affairs Bulletin 28.9.17

/ September 28th 2017
Advertising Matters

AA and Progress roundtable at the Labour Party conference

The AA and Progress hosted a roundtable at Labour Party conference this week to discuss the implications of Brexit for the advertising industry. In attendance, among others, were: Fiona Twycross AM, Chi Onwurah MP (Shadow Industrial Strategy Minister), Seema Malhotra MP (Exiting the EU Committee), Stephen Timms MP (Exiting the EU Committee) and Chris Matheson MP (DCMS Committee). We were also joined by leading industry figures from across the AA’s membership.

The discussion focused on our Brexit and Industrial Strategy priorities, including the role of international talent in the industry and the need to ensure talent flows remain in place, as well as the need to protect the UK’s position as a global advertising hub. Whilst Brexit pessimism pervades, there was a reassuring message from the politicians who understood the value of the industry both economically and socially. Chi Onwurah MP described advertising as “a fundamental part of our economic, industrial and creative future”, while Seema Malhotra MP penned an article on the need to ‘protect advertising after Brexit’.

Michael will be attending the Conservative Party conference in Manchester next week, do get in touch if you are attending and would like to catch up.

In Brussels

At the Advertising Information Group meeting in Brussels this week, Sue and Kate discussed key EU legislative developments with the European industry associations.

Discussions are ongoing in the European Parliament on the e-Privacy Regulation. Industry remains concerned about several aspects of the proposal, including the provisions around consent, targeted advertising and direct marketing. We are in discussions with the European associations about engaging with MEPs ahead of the LIBE Committee vote expected on 11 October.

Trilogue discussions are continuing on the Audio-visual Media Services Directive. Industry’s priorities include ensuring no further restrictions on HFSS and alcohol advertising, and maintaining references to the importance of industry self-regulation. The Council Presidency is currently held by Estonia. The Estonians have made alcohol policy one of their priorities, and are planning a conference in Tallinn at the end of October which will include a panel on alcohol advertising featuring several health campaigners.

We also discussed the European Commission’s ongoing consultation on consumer affairs, which are gathering evidence on whether the Consumer Rights Directive should be extended to ‘free’ digital services, whether EU rules on sanctions should be further harmonised, and the simplification of some information requirements for advertisers. To feed into the AA’s response to the consultation contact Kate.
Migration Advisory Committee

The AA has been asked by the MAC to organise an industry roundtable to supplement our written response and provide the MAC with direct insight into industry concerns around migration and Brexit. This will take place on 12 October at the AA, from 3.30 – 5.00. Contact Kate for more information.

Industrial Strategy

The AA met with officials from BEIS and DCMS to discuss our proposals to introduce an incentive scheme for SMEs to advertise to grow their businesses. We will be meeting with civil servants from DIT next week to continue the development of our ‘Promote’ agenda, which seeks to enhance co-ordination between industry and government in promoting British advertising, marketing and promotional services in third markets.


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