Burnham to protect online ad freedom

LONDON - Industry bodies have welcomed support from the culture secretary, Andy Burnham, for self-regulation of internet advertising.

Andy Burnham...culture secretary
Andy Burnham...culture secretary

Burnham, speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau's Engage conference on Wednesday (12 November), outlined his support for self-regulation and pledged to do more for advertising, which he described as a "great British industry".

Reacting to Burnham's speech, Nick Stringer, the head of regulatory affairs at the IAB, said: "We recognise the importance of balancing online creativity and innovation with the need to protect consumers.

"The IAB welcomes the Secretary of State's emphasis on self-regulation in delivering that balance."

While Burnham argued that "safeguarding children continues to be a concern" online because there is no equivalent of the television watershed, he said that he recognised the importance of advertising in supporting quality content that is comfortable for parents.

He said: "Government is moving away from thinking online is ungovernable. We are in a period when we need to establish societal norms. I don't think we are there yet, we'll get there in a self-regulatory way.

"The stakes in the ground are not quite there, that is something that we need to address together."

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).