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Digital News to Watch: What the marketing & advertising industries want from Labour government

In this week’s digital news, the marketing and advertising industries anticipate significant changes under the new Labour government, which aims to boost growth in creative sectors and address gender pay disparities. Google searches increasingly end without clicks, with 59% of searches in the EU resulting in no clickthroughs, reflecting a shift in how users obtain information.

The ad industry is encouraged to adopt sustainable practices to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance brand reputation. Google confirmed that negative SEO practices are ineffective, emphasising the importance of relevant, high-quality links. Despite substantial investment, AI’s economic impact remains limited due to slow adoption and concerns over data security and bias. The EU has ruled that Meta’s paid ad-free option violates its Digital Markets Act, potentially leading to significant fines.

What the marketing & advertising industries want from the Labour government

With Sir Keir Starmer winning a landslide majority last week, here’s a reminder of what Labour set out to do in its manifesto – and what the industry wants the new government to tackle first. As part of its overall industrial strategy, Labour has committed to “create good jobs and accelerate growth” in film, music, gaming and other creative sectors, part of its creative industries sector plan. Advertising-related policies didn’t massively feature in Labour’s manifesto ahead of the election – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas needing change. Other wider policies will likely impact the marketing industry too. Young people can expect changes to apprenticeships as Labour plans to create a flexible Growth and Skills Levy to replace the existing Apprenticeship Levy. Artificial intelligence is extremely likely to take centre stage in the next five years of government too. Labour’s approach to AI so far focuses on safe development and regulation. Labour also wants to strengthen women’s rights, from equal pay to maternity and menopause discrimination and sexual harassment. This is something marketing will benefit from, with the industry’s women suffering from a 16% gender pay gap, compared with the country’s average of 7.7%.

Nearly 60% of Google searches end without a click in 2024

A study published by Rand Fishkin, SparkToro’s CEO, has revealed that 58.5% of Google searches in the U.S., and 59.7% of searches in the EU, result in zero clicks. Nearly 30% of all clicks also go to Google-owned properties such as YouTube, Images, or Maps. We know how important clicks are for organic rankings, and this is a further reflection that users are often able to gain the information they need directly from the SERP, thanks to features like Featured Snippets and People Also Ask questions. This trend is expected continue as AI Overviews continues to roll out. It becomes more important than ever for SEO to adapt to Google’s changing landscape.

Small adjustments lead to significant environmental benefits in the ad industry

By optimising digital ad campaigns to reduce energy consumption, adopting sustainable practices, and prioritising eco-friendly technologies, the industry can lower its carbon footprint. These changes not only support environmental sustainability but also enhance brand reputation and meet growing consumer demand for green practices. This article emphasises the importance of industry-wide collaboration and the adoption of best practices to drive substantial environmental impact.

Negative SEO doesn’t work, Google confirms

Negative SEO is the practice of sabotaging competitors with low-quality links, with the aim of lowering a website’s domain authority and disrupting the website’s rankings as a result. Google’s Gary Illyes has confirmed that this practice is no longer something that has an impact. The search engine considers the context around links, and examines whether the site that’s linking out matches the site that’s being linked to; if it’s completely random, it won’t count. This reaffirms the need for high-quality, relevant links – links to a website are only valuable when they come from a website that, in essence, makes contextual sense.

Economic impact of AI remains low

Despite significant investment in artificial intelligence (AI) by tech giants, the impact of technology on the global economy remains limited, writes The Economist. Tech companies are budgeting an estimated $400bn (£314bn; €370bn) this year for AI-related hardware and research, but adoption rates among businesses are still low. Only 5% of US firms have used AI in the past fortnight, according to the Census Bureau. Concerns about data security, biased algorithms and rapidly evolving technology are slowing implementation. For similar reasons, finance firms across the UK, Europe and the US are “hesitating” with AI. Macroeconomic data also hasn’t shown signs of AI-driven job losses or productivity gains. But experts suggest that, like previous technological revolutions, AI’s widespread economic impact may take time to materialise.

EU says Instagram’s paid ad-free option breaches rules

The European Commission has found Facebook owner Meta’s “pay or consent” advertising model to be in violation of EU laws. Meta’s new service in the EU requires users to either consent to personalised ads or pay €12.99 (£11) a month to remove them. The Commission’s preliminary view is that this “binary” choice does not comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Meta insists that its advertising model adheres to EU regulations, with a spokesperson stating that the subscription option complies with the highest European court’s direction and the DMA. However, if the EU concludes that Meta has breached its rules, the company could face a fine of up to 10% of its global revenue.

The DMA requires that users who do not consent to personalised ads should still have access to an equivalent service using less of their personal data. This action against Meta follows recent accusations against Apple for breaching the same laws with its App Store.

Joe Jones from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) commented that the DMA is quickly enforcing regulations, raising many questions about the implementation of the expanded EU digital regulation toolkit.

For more information on any of these stories, or for support with your digital marketing campaigns, get in touch with our team who will be more than willing to discuss your requirements. Send us an email to to learn more.

Matthew Fraser - Modo25
Matthew Fraser
Matthew Fraser - Modo25
Matthew Fraser

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