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Report: House of Lords - UK advertising in a digital age

01.07.2018

The UK's advertising industry is a success story, adding £120 billion to the UK's economy and supporting over 1 million jobs in 2016. The UK, especially London, is a global centre for advertising, exporting services to clients around the world. In turn it attracts talented workers from overseas, giving the industry its strong international quality. The sector contributes to the UK's culture and society and shines a spotlight on the country as a positive place to do business.

However, the industry is in a state of flux, following rapid year-on-year growth with an increasing number of businesses embracing digital advertising techniques, which often rely on processing personal data of consumers. Additionally, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union presents a challenge for the industry’s access to international workers.

As the voice of the marketing sector and the world’s leading marketing body, The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) submitted evidence to a Government select committee investigating the future of UK advertising in a digital age. Using this evidence and the views of leading figures from across the sector, the House of Lords launched late last week the ‘UK advertising in a digital age’ report.

The key recommendations from the report are:

  • The Committee recommends that the industry should take greater steps to self-regulate through independent bodies such as the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority should undertake a market study of the digital advertising market to ensure that it is working fairly for businesses and consumers.
  • The Government should review whether competition law is appropriate for the 21st century digital economy.
  • Individuals from all communities and backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity, gender, class and ability, should have access to employment in the advertising industry. The industry should discontinue informal working and recruitment practices, such as unpaid internships, which present a barrier to groups from lower socioeconomic groups. The Government should clarify the law on unpaid internships. This will allow the advertising industry to access a larger talent pool which better reflects the advertisers' audiences.
  • The Government should seek to negotiate reciprocal agreements with other countries under which international workers with a job offer in the advertising industry will have the right to work in the UK. The Government should also introduce a creative industries' freelancer visa.

More information and a copy of the report can be found here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/communications-committee/news-parliament-2017/uk-advertising-report-publication/

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