New Tory Leader and PM Liz Truss takes up her job with a daunting in-box: the most pressing being the ongoing and escalating energy and cost of living crisis hitting UK households. Truss is expected to freeze energy bills, and in her leadership acceptance speech she said she would “deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy” and “deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long term”.
How can she help the marketing sector? Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, representing the UK’s top advertising agencies), asked that she “recognises the economic and other benefits that the UK ad industry brings to the UK”. ISBA director general Phil Smith, meanwhile, is looking for the new PM to “drop ideas which will hinder our industry not help it, like the sale of Channel 4, to which advertisers are overwhelmingly opposed”.
Here’s my wish-list of 5 to-do items I’d specifically like from the Truss government:
- Incentivise investment in advertising to grow businesses, competition, innovation and choice – particularly around price and value.
- Reforming immigration regulations to enable access to the best international talent so we can continue to be world class. We want our industry to be able to attract the best talent, from wherever it comes.
- Leave our self-regulatory system as just that. And don’t waste time on unnecessary interventions and gesture politics.
- Developing long-term policies will help advertising businesses through the tough times ahead – for example, changes to skills policy and the apprenticeship levy, which works as yet another tax on the business.
- For government to recognise the economic and other benefits that the UK ad industry brings to the UK, as every £1 spent on advertising generates £6 for the country’s economy – government needs to support the sector.
Our industry needs a government that listens to business, brings certainty to enable long-term planning and prioritises evidence-led policymaking.
Ben Quigley, Executive Chair, Different Narrative.