The Advertising Association story began in 1924 in Wembley at an International Advertising Convention, opened by H.R.H The Prince of Wales. Then known as “District 14” of the Association Advertising Clubs of the World, it was chaired by Mr C Harold Vernon who later became the first President of the Advertising Association. In that first convention “District 14” and other delegates pledged:
- To dedicate our efforts to the cause of better business and social service.
- To seek the truth and live by it.
- To tell the advertising story simply and without exaggeration, and to avoid even a tendency to mislead.
- To refrain from unfair criticism.
- To promote a better international understanding based upon a recognition of our mutual responsibilities and our interdependence.
- To conserve for ourselves and for posterity ideals of conduct and standards of advertising practice born of the belief that truthful advertising builds both character and good business.
None of which are a million miles from the values of today’s Advertising Association, now in its 92nd year. As the Association got “into its stride” in the following months, 1926 saw the renaming and official forming of the Advertising Association we know today.
Stephen Woodford, upon re-reading the original pledges, reflects:
“What an inspiring set of pledges. Food for thought as we look at how we promote the roles, rights and responsibilities of advertising in 2018 and beyond.”