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Advertising Association Advertising Trust Gauge

A tracking public opinion survey on behalf of the Advertising Association.

Date Published: 01 Feb 2011

Categories: Media | Politics | Public and communities | Social | UK


Advertising industry responds to Government communications review

The Advertising Association has today submitted an industry-wide response to the review of Government direct communications and the role of the COI, being conducted by the Cabinet Office. The response draws together views across the advertising and marketing communications industry and highlights the clear need for continued, high quality communications in support of Government policy aims.

Recent consumer research conducted by industry think tank Credos demonstrates that the public appreciates the value of Government communications, as the social issues they aim to tackle remain very real. 67% of the 2,05300 individuals surveyed1 agreed that advertising is vital to the success of Government campaigns on issues of public concern. The majority agreed that money should be spent on communicating on issues including drink-driving (77%), benefit fraud (60%) and healthy eating (55%).

Tim Lefroy, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, said: “It’s clear that the question is not whether the Government should continue to communicate, but how it can be done most effectively. Addressing some of the most pressing social issues such as public health or benefit fraud head on can save money in the long term. To stop communicating would be a false economy.”

Recognising that there is less money available for large-scale Government-funded communications, the  emphasis in the submission is on finding new ways of communicating social policy. However the industry has expressed concern about the idea of adopting a US-style Ad Council model, which could limit real collaboration between Government and industry on the development of compelling and effective two-way communication with the public.

Andrew McGuinness, partner at BMB said: “The UK communications industry, working with the charity sector, already makes a massive contribution in terms of developing and executing socially valuable communication with the public. This shouldn’t be underplayed.

“BT’s work to tackle digital exclusion, the creation of the Drink Aware Trust and the Asda ‘Challenge 25’ initiative are just a few examples of innovative, industry-led approaches to tackling social issues. We are committed to doing more of the same and want to work alongside Government to develop new methods of supporting social policy. It has to be the right approach – one that matches the specific needs of the UK and makes best use of UK communications talent.”

Consumer research was conducted by ComRes as an online survey. 2,053 adults across Great Britain were polled between 17th and 19th December 2010.

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