IPA and ISBA call for clarity on Brexit as Tories triumph in general election

IPA, ISBA and Advertising Association cautiously welcome majority government.

Johnson: staying in number 10 after Conservative win
Johnson: staying in number 10 after Conservative win

The IPA has called for clarity around Brexit in light of the Tories’ trouncing of Labour in the general election, arguing that "stasis" and "economic deadlock" must come to an end and that the industry needs a long-standing culture secretary who appreciates the contributions adland makes to the UK economy.

The Conservative Party’s landslide victory at the polls, which saw it win 364 seats (its biggest majority in three decades) compared with Labour’s 203, has been widely interpreted as a call from the electorate to resolve Brexit by finally leaving the European Union.

Paul Bainsfair, the IPA’s director-general, noted the divisiveness characterising politics of late, but said that "the decision as to who will run our country has been made" and welcomed the notion of certainty.

"For us to move forward – as a country and an industry – we are looking to the Tory government to bring an end to the current stasis, uncertainty and economic deadlock," he said. "And one that can provide clarity across the board."

ISBA director-general Phil Smith welcomed Boris Johnson remaining prime minister and said it, too, "looked forward to the appointment of a new culture secretary".

He added: "This will be the ninth culture secretary since 2010. It is vital, with challenges such as platform regulation, data ethics and regulatory efficacy that we see an end to the revolving door at DCMS [Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport] and progress made in key areas."

Bainsfair said that clarity on Brexit would enable advertisers to "allocate appropriate marketing budgets to hire agencies to help transform their businesses".

"We need clarity on access to EU talent – our industry relies on diverse minds from all backgrounds; we need clarity on political advertising for which we continue to lobby for a machine-ready universal register of all political ads online," he added.

"We also need a culture secretary in the post long enough to gain a good understanding of the incredible value that the creative industries bring to the UK and who can promote and defend our best interests accordingly."

ISBA renewed its call for data-backed legislation around advertising. Smith explained: "ISBA has long called for a return to evidence-led regulation when it comes to the consideration of further advertising restrictions; for the creation of a new independent regulator for the social media platforms; and for government to provide long-term regulatory certainty through Brexit and beyond. With that, we can unleash the power of the sector – the third-largest in our economy."

Meanwhile, Advertising Association chief executive Stephen Woodford doubled down on the sentiments expressed by the IPA and ISBA, and stressed the need for strong trade deals.

He said: "The UK is the European and global hub for the advertising industry, but this status is dependent on securing a good future trade deal with the EU, with a regulatory environment that enables the free flow of data and services across borders and a flexible, growth-friendly migration system that allows the UK to access the best global talent."

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