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BBFC appoints new Board members, Brand Ambassador

January 23, 2024

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has announced the appointment of two new members to the BBFC’s Board, chaired by Natasha Kaplinsky (OBE), as well as the recruitment of a Global Brand Ambassador. Col Needham, Darren Jobling and John Stanley will work closely with Natasha Kaplinsky OBE to build and deliver on the strategic vision for the organisation over the coming years.

In the newly created role of Global Brand Ambassador, Needham (founder and CEO of IMDb) will be responsible for representing the BBFC internationally with key stakeholders, contributing closely to the development of the international aspects of the BBFC’s strategy including its work in the AI space.

Stanley has over 35 years of experience within transactional, physical and digital media. He is the former EVP & MD from Warner Bros where he spent 15 years leading the Home Entertainment division in the UK, Eire, Spain and Nordics. Prior to this, Stanley was at 20th Century Fox in senior Sales, Marketing and Managing Director roles.

Jobling is a tech entrepreneur and innovator. He started his career in the games industry where he pioneered the creation of racing simulations for industry giants such as Electronic Arts, Activision and Take Two. He is now the CEO of Zerolight, a visionary start-up organisation that creates digital marketing platforms for companies such as VW, Mitsubishi, Lucid Motors, and BRP.

Jobling and Stanley will join the current BBFC Board, which comprises Kaplinsky OBE (President, BBFC and Chair, BBFC Board), Murphy Cobbing (Vice President), Lord Patel of Bradford OBE (Vice President), David Austin OBE (Chief Executive); the Board’s Classification Directors, designated by the Government to classify films and series under the Video Recordings Act 1984 (VRA) and who are responsible for all policies relating to classification. Along with existing Independent Director, Gloria De Piero, the Board’s three Independent Directors are responsible for advising the BBFC on matters relating to organisational strategy and the administering of its financial affairs.

Kaplinsky said: “I am delighted to welcome Darren and John who together bring such brilliant and wide ranging experience to our already esteemed board. It is such an exciting time for the BBFC right now as we look to unveil our new standards – shaped by talking to over 12,000 people from across the UK – and launch cutting edge technology to further our mission of ensuring that children and families continue to view content that is right for them and avoid what’s not. The newly created role of BBFC Global Brand Ambassador is of supreme importance to us as we continue to build on the great work we are already doing with leading global streaming services, such as Netflix and Prime Video. The BBFC has worked closely with IMDb for many years and I can’t think of a better person to represent us across the world, than Col. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing board members, Mel Alcock, Claire Tavernier, John Aalbers and Lesley Mackenzie for all their hard work and dedication over the years as members of the BBFC Board.”

Needham said: “I have been in love with film for my entire life and so I’m beyond delighted, and honoured, to be working with the BBFC in this capacity. It is undoubtedly an exciting time in the evolution of the BBFC and I can’t wait to represent them around the world as their first ever Global Ambassador.”

Jobling commented: “I am delighted to join the board of the BBFC at such a transformative juncture in their long and distinguished history. With the explosion of media, I believe that the BBFC’s mission of empowering individuals to view age appropriate content has never been more relevant. I very much look forward to assisting in the future development of their groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence technologies.”

Stanley added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the BBFC’s leadership team and very much look forward to learning more about the wonderful work they do. After years of working on the other side of the content classification process, I’m now excited to be part of the future direction of the organisation at what is possibly one of the most existing times in its 112-year history.”

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