Monday, November 17, 2008

Does Government think Internet Governable or Not?

It's not so much the reporting confusions as the realisation that the UK is such a long way behind in its thinking about what the voracious, market-snitching, web is doing to every facet of our information society. Including, of course, politics. Obama just announced a CTO America. We so need one.

Describing himself as the 'minister for advertising', Burnham said the industry is facing up to challenging times as old media collides with new media, a release issued by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) said.

Online advertising doesn't have the 'familiar anchors' that regulation has in the traditional media world, said Burnham.

"Government is moving away from thinking online is ungovernable," he said.

"We are in a period when we need to establish societal norms. I don't think we are there yet; we'll get there in a self-regulatory way. The stakes in the ground are not quite there, that is something we need to address together."

If the industry acts responsibly, it will 'get full support of the government', advised Burnham, who said he could see the benefit of behavioural targetting online, but that this would require 'informed consent' and raises issues of privacy and civil liberty.


Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has called on marketers to ensure the internet is safe for children. He says the net is "ungovernable" and web designers and advertisers have a responsibility to the public when creating online campaigns.

Speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau Engage conference, Burnham says the creative industry must act to allay parent's fears about the content their children view online.

He adds: "Internet advertisers must face up to the challenging and changing world that the internet is rapidly becoming. Children find the internet very comforting and natural. It has fundamentally changed the way we access information. Online advertisers and content publishers must act responsibly to ensure the pages children view are safe and are in the public interest."

From Marketing Week.

Meanwhile, the event organizers themselves:
Rt. Hon Andy Burnham Mp, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Andy Burnham’s afternoon keynote address to the Engage conference emphasised the significance of internet advertising to creative Britain and the wider UK economy, and called for renewed partnership and cooperation in balancing varying demands to ensure the UK remains a world leader.

Having explained that he was not here to talk about X-Factor, Burnham, opened with the famous Saatchi quote on advertising which he saw as being “where art and commerce meet most closely”. Burnham acknowledged that he was in many ways, “the minister for advertising” and pledged to do more for this great “British industry”.

Moving on to talk specifically about the internet, Burnham outlined the “fundamental changes in the way we access information and entertainment” – some of which have of course brought serious issues for Government.

“Safeguarding children continues to be a concern”, said Burnham, pointing out that we safeguard children playing outside and we have a watershed on TV, and saying that the “stakes in the ground” on regulating online content aren’t quite there yet. “That’s something I think we need to work on,” he said.

Focussing now on regulation, Burnham commented: “The Government is moving away from thinking that the online world is completely ungovernable.” The reason for this he said was that the internet was now so much a part of people’s lives: “The online world has moved from the fringes of people’s lives to the very heart”.

Burnham next acknowledged the role of advertising in the online sphere. “The internet wouldn’t exist in the way it does without advertising. Advertising has a crucial role to play”, he said. Online has been an enormously successful business model, he argued, witnessing “phenomenal pace of change”.

This is something Burnham is keen to build on he says, outlining proposals for building what he called a network of “strong systematic support” around the creative industries which would result in the creation of apprenticeship schemes and the like. He further acknowledged that there is “a bedrock of support I need to put in place.”

From the Internet Advertising Bureau site.

1 comment:

Mobile Media said...

I really do not this there is a chance of governing the internet and keeping it true to it original ideas. The internet was meant to be a area were humans can interact limiting this interaction could have profound issues and create underground networks which are much more dangerous.