NEWS: Labour ad initiative comes under fire

The Labour Party was accused this week of caving in to pressure from the advertising industry by watering down its plans to regulate the sector.

The Labour Party was accused this week of caving in to pressure from the

advertising industry by watering down its plans to regulate the sector.



The attack came from the Welsh Nationalist Party, which claimed Labour

was set to abandon its long-standing policy of replacing the Advertising

Standards Authority with a statutory body.



Plaid Cymru’s move follows Labour’s decision to consult the ad industry

over the laws affecting it (Campaign, last week). The Nationalists’

fears are shared privately by some Labour MPs, who want to see rigorous

legal controls on advertising.



At the 1992 general election, Labour was committed to statutory

regulation, but the party has not yet finalised its policy for the next

election.



However, suspicions of a Labour U-turn were also fuelled by a new

statement on industry policy, announced by Tony Blair on Wednesday,

which stressed the party’s ‘hands-off’ approach towards business.



‘Labour is committed to consultation and implementing policy by

consensus,’ Margaret Beckett, the shadow industry secretary, said.



Cynog Dafis, a Welsh Nationalist MP, commented: ‘I cannot imagine that

Blair is going to introduce a statutory code. That would be very Old

Labour, not New Labour.’



Dafis has tabled Commons questions urging the Government to beef up the

existing code of advertising practice and to grant a right of appeal to

people unhappy with the ASA’s rulings.



‘Advertising has a tremendously potent effect on people’s lives,

especially children’s,’ he said. ‘The ASA lacks teeth and is too close

to the industry.’



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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).