BBFC hands PR chief open brief

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has brought in its first PR head as part of a policy to clarify its decisions on censorship.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has brought in its

first PR head as part of a policy to clarify its decisions on

censorship.



Sue Clark joined last week from the Royal Commission for the Reform of

the House of Lords, where she headed media relations. The Commission was

responsible for considering the abolition of elected peers. Before the

commission she worked in the Cabinet office and was head of news at the

Department of Culture, Media and Sport.



Clark has been handed an open brief by Robin Duval, the board’s

director, to create and co-ordinate a more corporate approach to its

communications with the public, press and the government.



A spokesman said Clark’s appointment will allow the BBFC to communicate

the decisions it arrives at rather than leave them entirely open to

media interpretation. He said: ’We need to be more proactive about

presenting issues before we are put on the back foot, and move towards

openness and transparency.’



Clark will be the only PRO working within the BBFC, and will be

responsible for public affairs, and external, internal and media

relations.



The BBFC has aimed at being more open about its decisions since Andreas

Whittam Smith joined as president last year and Robin Duval replaced

former director James Ferman after his mammoth 23-year stint.



Whittam Smith’s desire for more openness may stem from his experiences

as a journalist. He established the Independent in 1986 and was its

first editor. His first decisions as president of the BBFC, approving

the release of a screen adaptation of Lolita and Kissed, a film about a

necrophiliac, were seized on for criticism by the press.



One of the BBFC’s biggest controversies before Whittam Smith joined was

the release of Crash, despite a boycott by Westminster, High Wycombe,

Walsall and Lanarkshire councils.



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