His "do as I say or you will be punished" attitude was reminiscent of a teacher disciplining a classroom full of unruly children, rather than an appropriate way to address an industry that has embraced self-regulation and that contributed £5.1bn to the UK economy in 2004. We wish him well in his new post at the Northern Ireland Office.
Gordon Brown's plans to big up his new cabinet having finally taken over as Prime Minister from Tony Blair last week were scuppered by terrorist activity, but the new ministerial line-up still represents an opportunity for the advertising industry to push its case more forcefully with government.
A green paper - a consultative document that informs government policy - on the creative economy is due to be released later this year. It will be overseen by the new secretary of state for culture, media and sport James Purnell, who has taken over the reins at the DCMS from Tessa Jowell.
Former industry minister at the DTI Margaret Hodge will pick up the broad remit that was covered by Woodward, except for broadcasting, which will come under Purnell's portfolio. Purnell was a junior minister under Jowell in 2005 and worked on the TV Without Frontiers review. He is generally considered to be advertising-friendly and media-savvy.
The upcoming green paper will be informed by a Work Foundation Report released last week called Staying Ahead: the economic performance of the UK's creative industries, which was commissioned by the DCMS. It shows that the value to the economy of Britain's creative industries is comparable to that of the financial services sector. Areas such as film, music and fashion tend to grab the headlines, but advertising employs more than 220,000 people in 9,900 businesses and recorded exports of over £1.1bn in 2004. It is a significant contributor to UK plc.
New IPA president Moray MacLennan's stated aim is to raise the profile of the advertising industry in the boardroom and with government. The new broom at DCMS and the forthcoming green paper give MacLennan and the advertising community a chance to stake their claim as a significant and serious player that contributes an immense amount to the UK economy - rather than the whipping boy that gets blamed for much of society's evils.
- Steve Barrett is editor of Media Week, email@example.com.