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BBC John Whittingdale Media

Advertisers call on industry to give new but 'far removed' culture secretary a 'firm handle' on its contribution to economy


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

July 14, 2016 | 4 min read

Karen Bradley has been appointed secretary of state for culture, media and sport, taking over from John Whittingdale who was sacked from the post earlier today (14 July).

Karen Bradley culture secretary

Karen Bradley is to replace Whittingdale / BBC

The creative sector claims to be worth almost £10m an hour to economy and wants the Bradley to know about.

The Advertising Association released a statement shortly after saying Bradley and Greg Clarke (newly appointed Business Secretary) are a "long way removed from advertising" and need to be made aware of the creative industries contribution to the economy.

“We’ll need to move quickly to give them a firm handle on advertising’s contribution – to the economy, business, society and people – and to build understanding of the role and effectiveness of self-regulation," saif Ian Barber, communications director at the AA.

It was a sentiment echoed by the IPA, with president and chairman of MullenLowe London Tom Knox adding: “Coming from the Home Office, Karen Bradley is a bit of an unknown quantity to us. We are therefore keen to see what her priorities will be for the creative industries and how she plans to continue to support and champion our value as we now contribute an incredible £84.1bn a year to the UK."

Whittingdale was appointed to the role last May but was quick to undertake a review of the BBC and the license fee. A year later he released a whitepaper which made a number of recommendations as to how the service should be run in the future. Bradley will now be tasked with completing her predecessor’s review of the BBC.

Whittingdale has been outspoken on his view that Channel 4 should be privatised, something the broadcaster has been strongly opposed to.

It's an issue the new culture secretary will face as she joins May's top team.

Knox added: "We hope she will completely shelve John Whittingdale’s controversial plans regarding the privatisation of Channel 4 – something which the advertising industry and the broadcasting community are united in being vehemently against.”

The former chartered accountant and MP for Staffordshire Moorlands last year introduced interim rules requiring judicial permission for police seeking to track journalists’ sources.

She now joins Phillip Hammond the new chancellor, Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, Damien Green as work and pensions minister and Andrea Leadsom as rural affairs minister.

Ed Vaizey, MP and minister of state for culture and the digital economy was appointed to the privy council earlier today.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Stewart.

BBC John Whittingdale Media

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