Empire Marketing Board

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Microphones-2-.jpg This article is part of the Propaganda Portal project of Spinwatch.

The Empire Marketing Board was formed in May 1926 by the Colonial Secretary Leo Amery to promote inter-Empire trade and to persuade consumers to 'Buy Empire'.

Amery was its first Chairman, Sir Stephen George Tallents was its Secretary, Edward Mayow Hastings Lloyd was Assistant Secretary, Walter Elliot was its Chairman of the Research Committee.

The EMB had three principal aims: to support scientific research, promotion of economic analysis, and publicity for Empire trade. Scientific research took up a large proportion of the EMB's work and budget. It also assisted 126 agricultural and medical research projects and issued many Intelligence Notes, pamphlets and surveys. The EMB made links with buyers and produced analyses of markets to help producers.

The EMB organised poster campaigns, exhibitions, 'Empire Shopping Weeks', Empire shops, lectures, radio talks, schools tour, its own library, advertisements in the national and local press and of shop window displays. Most famous was the EMB film unit led by John Grierson, often considered the father of modern documentary film, which produced around 100 films with such names as 'Solid Sunshine' (which promoted New Zealand butter), 'Song of Ceylon', 'Wheatfields of the Empire', 'Industrial Britain' and 'One Family'.

Colonial governments were reluctant to join the EMB, however. The EMB was ended September 1933 as a result of government cuts and the introduction of Imperial Preference. The film unit was moved to GPO, and during World War II was reorganized into the Crown Film Unit.[1]

Further reading


  1. Screenonline Empire Marketing Board Film Unit (1926-33), accessed 27 April 2010