The marketing industry will be breathing a collective sigh of relief following the appointment of former Ogilvy & Mather healthcare chief and pro-EU MP Margot James as the new digital minister, in charge of ensuring the implementation of the UK Data Protection Act.
James succeeds Matt Hancock, who was promoted to Minister of State for Digital & Culture earlier this week; she was previously Minister for Small Business, Consumers, and Corporate Responsibility.
She joined the Conservative Party aged 17 and worked in sales and marketing for her father’s business, Maurice James Industries, a haulage, waste management, and property group based in Birmingham.
After working for a consulting firm, in 1986 James co-founded Shire Health Group, a PR and clinical trials organisation. The company was sold to WPP Group in 2004, with James appointed head of European healthcare.
James became an MP in the 2010 General Election, winning the marginal Labour-held constituency of Stourbridge. She was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU Referendum.
One industry source said: “This is potentially a great appointment for us, as Margot obviously knows the marketing industry well, having worked at Ogilvy.
“She will be well versed in the major issues marketing companies face over Brexit and as we move into the final stages of GDPR adoption and the UK Data Protection Bill. Her support for gender diversity in the workplace, will also be welcomed by many in the industry.”
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