Media operators are full of hope but many fear union backlash

Labour’s media policy is still an enigma to most media operators.

Labour’s media policy is still an enigma to most media

operators.



Graham Duff, the chief executive designate of Zenith Media, said: ’I’m

not conscious of any Labour policies with regard to media. The key is

what happens on Budget day. If the economy is hit, then that will have a

knock-on effect on the whole advertising industry.’



Jerry Hill, the chief executive of the ITV sales house, TSMS,

agreed.



’I hope that, if the Social Chapter is introduced, it doesn’t undermine

business in general - from an ad revenue point of view we are driven by

the health of business at large. However, I get the general impression

that the Labour Government sees advertising as having a role in the

general development of the economy.’



Ron Zeghibe, the chief executive of Maiden Outdoor, said: ’Labour may be

more receptive to certain concentrations of ownership and

commercialisation in a broader sense than the rather dogmatic approach

the Conservatives took.’



He also called on Labour to take a more international perspective when

it comes to allowing UK companies to expand. ’Media is one area where

the UK has the potential to lead the world, but historically governments

have made it difficult for us to compete globally. I hope Labour allows

ownership to develop so that UK companies can become major world

players.’



Adam Poulter, the chief executive of Carlton Screen Advertising, said

the major issue facing cinema under the new Government was a possible

restriction on advertising. ’A ban on alcohol advertising has been

talked about, as has a curtailment of advertising to children and youth

audiences.



Children have become a key audience, with seven- to 14-year-old

audiences growing fourfold in the past five years. Anything that could

hamper our ability to sell this as a commercial audience would be of

concern.’



One media owner voiced the concern of many. ’Union activity and

industrial action are potentially devastating to a live product such as

television, press or radio. If the unions rear their heads, it could

cripple the industry.



Let’s hope Blair keeps his promises. If he does, a Labour government

will probably mean very little change.’