ISBA publishes marketing manifesto ahead of general election

Manifesto calls for both regulatory stringency and relaxation.

ISBA: manifesto aimed at winner of 12 December election
ISBA: manifesto aimed at winner of 12 December election

ISBA has published a manifesto calling on whichever party that wins the 12 December general election to end Brexit uncertainty, regulate digital platforms, end plans for watersheds intended to curb childhood obesity and better support the ad industry.

While the fight between the major political parties becomes more ad hominem and their own manifestos raise eyebrows, the trade body representing advertisers is calling for practical measures to be pursued by the new government.

Regarding Brexit, ISBA said that by "finalising a data adequacy agreement with Brussels and agreeing standard contractual clauses", a line can be drawn under uncertainty around leaving the European Union.

The organisation also said it wants the new government to redouble efforts to tackle online harm, calling for an "independent body to regulate social media platforms", the establishment of "a system of age verification" and effective funding of the "police intellectual property crime unit".

ISBA said it wants an end to plans for advertising watersheds designed to stem obesity rates – something that it claimed lacked evidence to prove they would cut obesity. Instead, ISBA demanded that the government research "evidence-led policies" and recognise efforts by brands to "get kids active".

Lastly, the manifesto demands greater support for the ad industry by "cancelling the DCMS’s study", which proposes a review of online advertising, and focusing instead on the Competition & Markets Authority’s own study and the Information Commissioner Office’s adtech investigation.

ISBA said that the "sector has faced extraordinary uncertainty and potential regulatory upheaval in recent times". It suggested that government should support "digital literacy as an essential part of children’s education".

The body highlighted the importance of the ad industry to British trade, noting that the ad sector is the third-largest in the UK economy and supports nearly one million jobs, adding around £120bn to GDP.

The manifesto continues: "As the trade body for countless household names, ISBA is calling for the next government to end the uncertainty of recent years. We need action to back successful British exporters and the engine of our creative industries.

"Whichever party or parties take office, if we are to support advertising as the third-largest sector of the UK economy, then we need to see action in 2020 on these goals."

A full version of ISBA's manifesto is available here.

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