BT boss blasts Labour for 'negative' stance over business ads


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The Independent Online

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson has accused Labour of being too “negative” about the benefits of advertising for business.

Patterson, addressing industry leaders in his role as Advertising Association president, said research showed advertising was "central to the economy", with every £1 of marketing spend generating £6 for GDP.

Big companies recognise that "if you sell anything at all, advertising is your business". But he warned the political debate is lagging as it is “too often about what advertising does to people, and too rarely about what advertising can do for people”.

He went on: "Labour has mentioned advertising three times in recent months — and each time it’s been negative: Should we ban advertising to children? Should we ban advertising of pay-day loans? Should we ban the advertising of high-fat and high-sugar foods?"

The AA wants more small and medium-sized businesses to spend on advertising after a Deloitte report showed more than two-thirds do not invest.