06 October 2000

Adding to the Niagara of electoral promises made during this week’s Conservative Party annual conference at Bournemouth, shadow culture secretary Peter Ainsworth told a fringe meeting sponsored by the Advertising Association just what he thought his sponsors wanted to hear.

The Tories, he said, were “on the side" of the ad industry because of its key role in the communications revolution. When re-elected, a Conservative government could opt for a gentler set of controls than at present.

“Obviously, there will still be a need for a regulatory authority of some form, but we don't need any more directives from Brussels telling you what you can do in your industry," he said. "Consumers are quite grown-up enough; consumers are king in the 21st century."

Warming to his theme, he moved into third gear: “We recognise the limitations of the Government and will get the hell out of your way in order to let you get on with your job. What governments tend to forget is that without advertising, there is nothing to drive this innovation, the new technology and create the new jobs.”

Now in full ‘God for Harry, England and St George’ mode, Ainsworth flourished the flag: “We will be there to help your fight against the European Union, the British Government, interfering busybodies and people who don't understand the important dynamics of this industry and the crucial role you are playing in developing the creative economy and new jobs. We will be there, on your side.”

News source: CampaignLive (UK)