Marketing trade bodies have bent over backwards to welcome Digital Minister Nick Hancock’s promotion to Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sports but face a new round of Westminster schmoozing once his successor has been named.
The former Bank of England economist has been MP for West Suffolk since 2010, and took up the role of Digital Minister in August 2016 and retained the post in the post-General Election reshuffle last year.
Hancock has proved to be somewhat of an “industry champion”, defending direct marketing while other MPs branded the sector “the lowest of the low”.
Hancock also sanctioned the switch of the Telephone Preference Service from Ofcom to the Information Commissioner’s Office, in a move designed to enable quicker handling of complaints about so-called nuisance calls.
While he will still oversee the UK Data Protection Bill – the UK’s version of GDPR – it will be Hancock’s successor who will be charged with sorting out the nuts and bolts. As one industry source put it: “Whether or not it is good news for marketing really depends who we get in his place.”
Hancock succeeds Karen Bradley, who moves to Northern Ireland Secretary. Advertising Association chief executive Stephen Woodford said: “Matt is an enthusiastic and engaged supporter of the creative industries and has a keen awareness of advertising’s vital importance to the UK economy and the global lead the UK enjoys. We look forward to working with him as Secretary of State for the continued success of our industry and the wider UK creative sector.”
Meanwhile DMA Group CEO Chris Combemale added: “Matt’s knowledge of data protection and privacy issues will be invaluable as he tackles the numerous challenges in his brief.
“He comes into the role at a pivotal time for the marketing industry. The UK’s data-driven creative industry is a global leader but in order to boost this success, free flow of data across borders must be a critical element of any trade deal with Europe or any other nation.”
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