Client: The British Art Market Federation (BAMF)
Public Affairs Team: GJW Brussels andGJW London
Campaign: To quash European Commission plans to impose an artists'
re-sale right in the UK
Timescale: Five years
Budget: Circa pounds 150,000
The artists' re-sale right is effectively a royalty fee that would be
paid to artists each time works are sold. The BAMF has been fighting the
legislation, saying it would be a disincentive to art dealers from
selling their works in London, Europe's largest art market. The levy
currently exists in most EU countries.
To kill or substantially reduce the legislation's impact on the British
Strategy and Plan
GJW had to gain the political backing of the UK government and to form
an alliance of EU governments. This involved complex lobbying.
BAMF chairman Anthony Browne had talks with UK government departments,
ministries of foreign governments, the international press and the
European Commission and Parliament. A campaign was targeted specifically
at the Brussels press.
A poster campaign was launched in English and German, listing 75 artists
who backed the cause. Tony Blair made phonecalls to President Chirac and
Chancellor Schroeder, among others, impressing upon them the 'vital
national interest' at stake.
Measurement and Evaluation
GJW had to keep adapting its strategies according to the shifting
positions of EU members.
Through the turbulent legislative process and more than a dozen
different votes of the European Commission and Parliament, the damaging
elements of the levy were systematically whittled away.
Eventually, the UK government took the unprecedented step of wielding
the veto for the first time on a single market issue. Originally
scheduled to come in to force in January 1999, a much-diluted version of
the levy will come into being in January 2006, with full implementation
delayed until 2012.