Hunt moved to health in reshuffle

Culture, media and sport minister Jeremy Hunt has replaced Andrew Lansley as health secretary, a switch likely to have implications for marketers in several sectors.

Hunt

Hunt, who was embroiled in controversy earlier this year over his handling of News Corporation’s attempted takeover of BSkyB, will be replaced by former Texaco marketer and director at ad agency Grey London Maria Miller, who steps up from her current job as a junior minister in the department of work and pensions.

Hunt’s promotion to the department of health puts him in charge of the responsibility deal with the food and drink industry.

The deal is one of the key components of Lansley’s public health strategy and has led to several pledges by some of the UK’s biggest manufacturers to reduce calories in their food and drink brands. It has also seen supermarkets and producers provide in-kind marketing support to promote healthy living.

Lansley has maintained that the partnership approach has led to more changes than statutory regulation would achieve despite criticism from the health campaigners that government was too close to the private sector to enact real change.

The former health secretary is also the architect of proposals to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.

It is not known what Hunt’s position is on the responsibility deal. However, he has favoured a partnership approach in line with Government policy when developing the GREAT campaign to promote Britain abroad.

Miller will oversee a department that covers media standards and regulation, the advertising industry, tourism and sport.

Lansley has been named leader of the House of Commons.

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