Government urges ad industry to modernise

The Government has told the advertising industry it must modernise itself in order to enjoy continuing growth.

The Government has told the advertising industry it must modernise

itself in order to enjoy continuing growth.

The Blairite message came from a taskforce on the creative industries,

chaired by the culture secretary, Chris Smith, and which includes Eric

Salama, a board director at WPP.

Its report identifies key issues confronting advertising such as agency

structures which have changed little in the past 50 years; too few

talented people being attracted to the industry; and ’negative

perceptions’ of it among clients and prospective employees.

The taskforce says the industry must focus on its clients’ needs and

meet the challenges of the global market, as well as competition from

new design and strategic consultancies.

’The industry’s long-term position is seen to be strong,’ the report

says. ’Growth will be driven by expansion in the UK and world economies

and by the growing number of organisations in the public and private

sectors which want to differentiate themselves.’

It suggests advertising will survive the slowdown in the British economy

next year, since ’most agencies ensure that margins are protected during

economic downturn’.

Agencies also stand to benefit by diversifying and developing expertise

in non-media specific marketing communications, the report adds, citing

’the internet, digital and satellite TV’ among a series of ’real

opportunities for the industry’.

Although the taskforce estimates Britain’s creative industries - which

employ 1.4 million people - could create 50,000 extra jobs over the next

three years, it gives no specific figure for advertising.

Current employment is estimated at 96,000, of which 63 per cent are

women and 19,000 self-employed. The contribution of advertising to the

national economy is #2.9 billion a year, with net earnings of UK

agencies running at about #1 billion.


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