Sworn in, speaking out

Proving it’s not just Trump that likes a fancy backdrop, Theresa May chose Lancaster House for her Big Brexit speech this week.  All eyes were on the PM and adland was no exception. It seems we’re set for a rock hard Brexit – out of the single market, as few trade barriers as possible, the right to stay for EU citizens already through the door, and open to global talent.

Advertising’s reaction?  Cautiously optimistic we’d say – pleased to have some clarity on what will be a messy divorce, at least according to the IPA’s Paul Bainsfair. More talent would be welcomed by the CIM and CIF. Here at the AA, well, we think there’s opportunity to do what we’re here to do – promote the role of advertising.

We’ll get a more advertising-centric view of Brexit next Thursday, when Culture Secretary Karen Bradley addresses ad-land’s leaders at Kings Place, before the Beeb’s Evan Davis kicks-off the Big Brexit Debate alongside Call Me Dave author Isabel Oakeshott and more. There’s just a couple of spots left – so if you wanna be in on the in out debate, grab ‘em here.

Time and Data

Our Right Honourable friend might have something to say about data next Thursday, given the potential for new rules to put advertising on a sticky Euro-wicket as negotiations unfold. The Culture Secretary hasn’t wasted any time getting on top of things, however, and was fluent in Eurospeak at a roundtable on Wednesday on the General Data Protection Regulation according to AA public affairs boss, Sue Eustace.

Flanked by Digital Minister Matt Hancock and new Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, the question for the trio was how best to implement the GDPR – and if e-Privacy rules are adopted before we officially Brexit (as the Commission’s optimistic timetable sets out), there’ll be that too. Sue wasn’t mincing her words though –  advertising needs as much clarity and guidance from Government as possible.

It all smacks of a sector trying to get it right – and that’s the agenda for AA President Andy Duncan later in the morning at LEAD.  Before Diageo’s Syl Saller speaks up on brand purpose, the Guardian’s Hamish Nicklin, Lucy Jameson and libertarian rabble-rouser Chris Snowdon of the IEA will put forward their wake-up moment on advertising’s responsibilities. Tickets. Get ‘em. Now. Here.

Brass Banned

Can advertising save the world? The World Federation of Advertisers certainly thinks so – and their brand new Value of Advertising report (with a familiar looking methodology…) is brimming with the benefits our sector brings to the economy.  You want GDP?  We’ve got 4.6% of it covered. Jobs?  How about 6 million of ‘em?  And there’s ad-funded services and content right across the continent.

With all that in mind, the WFA wants a moratorium on advertising restrictions coming out of Brussels.  Good luck with that – a case in point being current discussions around the AVMS Directive in the European Parliament, where various committees are getting busy with prohibitions.  We’ve already locked horns with the Legal Affairs bunch and now the Public Health committee is due, putting forward its views on ad-bans for booze and bar snacks beyond just children’s programming.

Those opinions will shape the final AVMS report that gets debated at the Parliamentary reading stage, and alongside our European counterparts, we’re drafting a rebuttal explaining the current rules as proportionate and effective. If you’ve got any thoughts, get them to Policy Manager Kate – final comments go out next week.

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

Brexit LEAD 2017