Asda chairman Stuart Rose is calling on Boris Johnson to leave Number 10 as soon as possible, describing the situation as “unsustainable”.
Hoping for a rapid transition to the new administration, Rose characterises Johnson as a “lame duck prime minister”.
“This has been too long in happening and it is unsustainable to continue with a hamstrung, lame duck prime minister into the autumn,” Rose tells the Guardian.
“There doesn’t seem to be anybody dealing with the serious issue of the economy. This political crisis has hamstrung everything.”
Advertising Association CEO Stephen Woodford insists the new Prime Minister must recognise the “positive economic and social contribution” advertising makes in supporting businesses and jobs during difficult economic times. Woodford points to the fact every £1 spent on advertising generates £6 of GDP, with ad spend reaching a record £32bn last year.
“To best support the UK’s recovery from the pandemic and to help deal effectively with the issues we all face such as the cost of living crisis, the Advertising Association urges the government, in this transition period to a new administration, to deliver clear, consistent leadership with properly informed, evidence-based policy decisions that support jobs and sustainable growth,” Woodford adds.
IPA director general Paul Bainsfair agrees the UK needs a government which fully acknowledges the value of advertising to the economy. Referencing news of an impending government-funded campaign advising brands to refocus marketing spend, the IPA is calling on the state to heed evidence “against diverting marketing budgets to hold down prices artificially at a time of inflationary supply side costs and weakening consumer demand.”
Government advice to cut marketing may be ‘deeply damaging’ for UK economy, industry says
Bainsfair says the country needs a Prime Minister and government that can provide “stability, a long-term strategic vision and calm stewardship” to lead the nation through the current volatility and return UK plc to growth.
“Having welcomed 10 culture secretaries over the past 10 years, our industry urgently requires stability too in order to be able to fully engage with the evidence on the topics that matter to business and society,” he adds.
“There are a number of chunky issues already in their inbox including the planned privatisation of Channel 4, impending HFSS legislation, the gambling review whitepaper, as well as the online harms bill.”
Elsewhere, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, Shevaun Haviland, told the Guardian she hopes Johnson’s resignation will “finally bring this chapter of political instability to an end.”
Haviland believes swift action is needed to help business: “We’re on limited time and the government must reset, rethink and get their house in order and swiftly demonstrate that it is on the side of business if confidence is to be restored.”