The Drum combs through the manifestos of the three main political parties to find out what will happen to the media and creative industries after next month's election.
The Drum has read through each tome to give you an idea of what to expect depending on which party comes to power after next month's election.
All the parties make a point of praising the creative industries - Labour highlight how the creative industries account for 10 percent of the national economy; the Conservatives want Britain to become a "European hub" for digital and creative businesses; the Lib Dems gush over "one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy".
But there will be changes for the creative industries and media businesses no matter which party comes to power.
We've highlighted points in each of the manifestos that we believe could impact on creative, media and marketing professionals and businesses directly (eg. cuts in Government marketing spend and new advertising legislation) and indirectly (eg. changes to regional development agencies, from which many creative agencies receive marketing spend).
If you think we've missed anything relevant to the industry, please leave a comment so we can add it in. Here are the pledges we've picked out from each party's manifesto:
Labour pledge to:
Keep the BBC independent and maintain the licence fee. “Our strong support for its editorial independence and the licence fee that finances the BBC's programmes and activities will continue.”
Fund the regional news consortia. “We will fund three regional news programme pilots from the digital shwitchover under-spend in the current licence fee period”.
Safeguard the independence of Ofcom to ensure “we preserve competition and protect children and consumers on the Internet”.
Extend broadband access to every business and home - “ensuring universal access within a decade to high-speed broadband across the country”.
Create a merged British Film Institute and UK Film Council to establish a single body to promote film production and film heritage.
Subject to state aid clearance, introduce a tax relief for the UK video games industry.
Update the intellectual property framework – and take further action to tackle online piracy. [Ed - No further elaboration is provided about this within the manifesto, though the recent Digital Economy Bill coverage would be a good start if you want to know more about Labour's web piracy plans.]
Support parents who challenge aggressive or sexualised commercial marketing.
Overhaul how government works... “sharply reducing spending on consultancy and marketing”.
Conservatives pledge to:
"...Scrap Labour's phone tax and instead require BT and other infrastructure providers to allow the use of their assets to deliver super-fast broadband across the country”.
If necessary, consider using the part of the licence fee that is supporting the digital switchover to fund broadband in areas that the market alone will not reach.
Give councils and businesses the power to form their own business-led local enterprise partnerships instead of RDAs. [Ed - Included here because it could affect agencies that work with RDAs; see also Lib Dems].
Prevent any marketing or advertising company found to be in serious breach of rules governing marketing to children from bidding for government advertising contracts for three years.
Ban companies from using new peer-to-peer marketing techniques targeted at children, and tackle marketing on corporate websites targeted at children.
Establish a new online system that gives parents greater powers to take action against irresponsible commercial activities targeted at children.
Empower head teachers and governors to ban advertising and vending machines in schools.
Sweep away the rules that stop local newspapers owning other local media platforms and create a new network of local television stations.
Reduce spend on government consultants and advertising.
Ensure that the National Audit Office has full access to the BBC’s accounts.
Liberal Democrats pledge to:
Set up a ‘Creative Enterprise Fund’ offering training, mentoring and small grants or loans to help creative businesses get off the ground.
"Ensure that the BBC remains strong, free from interference and securely funded... and ensure that the BBC does not undermine the viability of other media providers through unfair competition based on its public funding and dominant position".
"Support a diverse regional and local media. We will help to maintain independent local sources of news and information by enabling partnerships between TV, radio and newspaper companies to reduce costs, and by limiting publicly-subsidised competition for paid advertising from local council free-sheets".
Support public investment in the roll-out of superfast broadband, targeted first at areas which are least likely to be provided for by the market.
Reform RDAs to focus solely on economic development. Where existing RDAs have strong local support, they may continue with refocused economic development objectives. Where they do not, they will be scrapped and their functions taken over by local authorities.
The main image was created by combining the parties' manifestos in Wordle: http://www.wordle.net/