Former Downing Street director of communications and strategy Alastair Campbell this week said the industry must fight to get its arguments across on issues like GM food and obesity.
“You have to be out there making your argument on your terms. Most people don’t understand science. We need rational debate in the media.”
Speaking at the Marketing Society’s annual conference, his first public platform since he quit Downing Street, Campbell said it had become increasingly difficult for both politicians and businesses to be heard in an age of media proliferation.
“It is a more competitive and noisy marketplace. The ability to deliver your message against this noisy background is what matters. If you get your message strategy right you are in a good position should a crisis come,” he said.
Campbell said the challenge of communicating long-term change in an era of immediacy was great and “outside politics, it is even worse”.
“For the launch of a major brand you have TV, text, trolleys and guerrilla campaigns,” he said, adding it was no surprise supermarkets, airlines and football clubs had created their own media outlets. “The take-up shows consumers want this.”
Campbell’s remarks come as the industry faces growing criticism - in particular calls for a ban on all TV advertising to kids. This week, the major food and advertising bodies joined forces in a bid to find practical solutions to the child obesity controversy.
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