Commonwealth Games: Government ‘Looks Forward’ To Continuing Constructive Engagement With NMA

The Government has said that it looks forward to continuing “constructive engagement” with the News Media Association over advertising and trading restrictions for the Commonwealth Games to ensure that there will be no adverse impact on local newspapers.

Speaking in a Lords debate on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill, DCMS Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Baroness Barran said in response to Lord Moynihan the Government was listening to concerns raised by the industry.

The NMA has called for consultation and further exemptions in the Bill or regulations under it, to ensure that the advertising and trading offences would not impact negatively upon lawful newspaper reporting, advertising, sales and distribution during the Games.  

Speaking in the debate, Baroness Barran said: “The Government are aware of the approach taken to the advertising and trading restrictions for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the London Olympics and Paralympics where an exception was provided in regulations for newspapers, subject to certain conditions, for instances where the trading offence would have captured selling newspapers.

“We are of course listening to concerns raised by the news media industry and are committed to considering whether additional exceptions should be brought forward. The Bill places an obligation on the Government to consult specific people on those potential exceptions.

“Indeed, I am grateful for the constructive engagement so far of the Advertising Association and the News Media Association, among others, and I look forward to that constructive engagement continuing.”

“However, it is important that the Government have the opportunity to consider that consultation before determining which exceptions should be carved out in order to ensure that the regulations are as effective as possible. I would be pleased to write to noble Lords to inform them when the consultation goes live to ensure that they have further sight of the Government’s proposals.”

Lord Moynihan responded: “My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for her response and particularly her commitment to continue discussions with the Advertising Association and the News Media Association, which have been very constructive to date, although there is clearly further mileage to cover before both parties reach a satisfactory agreement.”