In the news…

Back in January, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee announced a ‘fake news’ inquiry – what it is, where it comes from, what it impact it might be having on society. And what caught our eye was a question on how “changes in the selling and placing of advertising encouraged the growth of fake news”. That’s certainly enough to fire up our policy team’s engines, and prepare to draft a written response ahead of the March 3 deadline. But interest in the inquiry from adland has certainly been piqued this week…

Two front pages from The Times took a look at programmatic advertising, and some specific instances of ads being placed alongside illegal content and fake news. And in today’s story, Committee Chair Damian Collins was quoted suggesting that some from the ad industry will be called to give oral evidence.

What those stories didn’t feature was a sense of the work that’s already happened across the industry to ensure brand safety. Take, for example, the Digital Trading Standards Group and JICWEBS, who have created accreditation systems, approval seals and worked with the police on lists of illegal sites. And today, the IAB again made clear that maintaining trust in our media is an industry priority. We imagine those will be the starting principles for advertising when it talks to the Committee, which we’ve been in touch with today to say the industry is ready to help. Get in touch if you have any questions in the meantime.

Br-exit sign

Despite some late nights for the MPs debating the Government’s Brexit Bill, the Prime Minister could sleep soundly on Wednesday after winning approval to trigger Article 50.

Though there was little doubt of it scoring more Ayes than Noes, the un-amended 132-word Bill didn’t clarify much in the way of rules and regs for the future – and as advertising’s continued success lies in those details, AA CEO Stephen Woodford and Chairman James Murphy were dispatched to LEAD 2017 keynote and Culture Secretary Karen Bradley’s roundtable on the effect of Brexit on the Creative Industries.

Alongside top dogs from other creative industries, Stephen and James raised specific concerns about advertising’s priorities from Brexit; among them continued access to talent and high-skilled migration, which we’ve reiterated in our response to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry on Brexit. Credos deputy Dan Wilks is going deep into adland’s Brexit survey at the next Public Affairs breakfast on Tuesday 21st – RSVPs to Naomi to hear him talk.

Food me once, food me twice

Last summer (simpler times…) advertising welcomed the Government’s childhood obesity plan which, in a u-turn from earlier leaks, did not contain proposals for further advertising restrictions. Not long after, CAP announced new rules for HFSS ads in media targeted at under-16s, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that might be the last word on obesity and advertising for a while.

Not so. The Health Select Committee held additional evidence sessions for its old inquiry into childhood obesity this week, giving industry, NGO and health reps a chance to reflect on the Government’s plans. Bowling for adland and self-regulation was CAP director Shahriar Coupal, who had the chance to explain the new CAP rules to the committee, and the thinking behind the Codes.

Shahriar stressed that advertising’s regulatory approach works because it is evidence-based – and we’ll be putting our well-researched point-of-view to the test up in Scotland soon too, as Holyrood’s Health and Sport Secretary has plans for both a children’s health and an obesity strategy after this summer ends. Lauren’s got more information, and Scottish Front Footers can sign up to the March 7th meet-up if they haven’t already.

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

Brexit obesity scotland