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IPA welcomes Scottish Affairs Committee report to boost ad industry

The IPA has today (19 January 2016) welcomed the Scottish Affairs Committee report which urges UK Government to work with Scottish Government to boost the creative industries. The report, to which the Government has two months to respond, incorporates both oral and written evidence from Brian Coane, Chairman of the IPA for Scotland on how Government can help the growth of the ad industry in Scotland.


There are three recommendations within the report that the IPA particularly endorses:

1)     A more targeted approach to the support of the creative industries

 A single body, the IPA believes, would assist the growth of the advertising industry in Scotland, not only because advertising is a creative industry in its own right, but because it has a vital role as a supporter of the broader sector. As evidenced in Brian Coane’s submission to the Committee, the ad industry makes up 15.6% of the jobs, is the second highest employer in the creative economy in Scotland, and accounts for more companies, a higher turnover and higher GVA than music, film and video, computer games, or radio and television.

 Highlighting advertising’s unique contribution to the creative industries, Coane said: “Advertising combines creativity and commerce in way that is good for Scotland’s economy and for our society. Just as advertising benefits from cultural creativity, commercial creativity supports many cultural projects. For example, photographer David Eustace’s portrait of Tracy Emin is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. He also directed the Scottish Government advert featuring Sir Alex Ferguson that was has helped increase early detection of lung cancer by 24.7% over the last two years. Glasgow was proud to host Jonathan Glazer directing the film ‘Under the Skin’ starring Scarlett Johansson. Glazer developed his skills directing adverts, most famously the Guinness ‘Surfers’ execution.”

 2)    The assessment of tax reliefs and how they could be adapted to be of greater benefit to Scotland, including piloting a tax relief for SMEs working in the creative sector.

 The IPA for Scotland would like creative sector tax reliefs to be applied to advertising. At present they are specifically excluded from advertising, yet apply to other creative sector areas such as games and films. Given the distinction between advertising and games or advertising and films is increasingly blurring, the IPA believes there is no principled basis for this omission.

 3)    Scotland to have full membership of the Creative Industries Council

 Currently the Scottish Creative Industries Partnership includes only public sector bodies which limits government understanding of the sector in Scotland and as a result its ability to support it. The IPA believes the partnership approach of the Creative Industries Council between public and private sector is one that the government should adopt more widely in Scotland.

Says Brian Coane: “This is an ideal moment to grasp this opportunity. It is also essential that we do. Without strong creative agencies, Scotland will lack the expertise that links cultural and commercial creativity for the good of our economy and society.”

For more information and to see the report: 

About the Scottish Affairs Select Committee

The Scottish Affairs Committee was appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Scotland Office and its associated public bodies.


Last updated 19/01/2016

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