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