UK Adland Luminaries Talk Cash With Conservatives

24 October 2008

LONDON: Leading members of Britain's advertising industry met this week with senior members of the Conservative Party opposition group to discuss its proposed cuts to governmental adspend, should it win the next election.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne had previously wared that the Conservatives intend to cut government marketing expenditure from the current annual £391m ($634m; €495m) to £163m, the same level as when the party was last in power in 1997.

At a forum convened by the Conservatives to discuss the changes, Baroness Peta Buscombe, ceo of the Advertising Association, urged them to "think really hard" about the plan.

She joined a panel of adland luminaries including Andy Duncan, ceo of broadcaster Channel 4, Fiona Dawson, UK managing director of confectionery giant Mars, and Moray MacLennan, president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

The AA will now provide the Conservatives with a list of current government campaigns with a strong track record, with the road safety effort Think and drugs-related Frank cited as examples.

Ed Vaizey, shadow minister for the arts, said he was a "massive fan of advertising and the industry", and that he favoured increasing the length of ad breaks.

He added, however: "Particularly in the credit crunch, government is going to have to cut its cloth as much as any other kind of organisation."

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff