Following British Prime Minister's address to outline the beginning of easing of lockdown, Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association offers his response to the messaging relayed and reveals some of the conversations that the organisation has been having with Government about the next stage and what it means for the advertising industry. While it is a relief to have at least started on the path back to a more ‘real’ life, the media today is already showing the importance of clarity on when people who cannot work from home should actually return to work. There is confusion about whether this is today (Monday 11 May) or Wednesday, as well as, for example, how many people we are allowed to see in the open air at one time. We all understand the reason for these rules is to keep everyone safe, to protect the NHS and save lives and also to support businesses and the economy, but clarity is critical. This next stage will be much more complicated than the relatively simple ‘Stay at home’ first stage, so clear, unambiguous and detailed communications are vital. On the point about business support, if briefings to the press are to be believed, we are soon to see more from the Government regarding an extension to, and then phased reduction, of the furloughing scheme – possibly to September.
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