Return of the Mac!

Last night at our AA President’s Reception, industry legend Tess Alps was presented with the Mackintosh Medal, which recognises outstanding personal and public service to advertising. The medal has been awarded just 10 times since 1980 with Richard Eyre, Chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau and former Chief Executive of ITV, being the last recipient in 2013. Prior to joining Thinkbox where she is now Chair, Tess was Chair of the PHD Group in the UK. In her 13 years with PHD she spent six years running Drum, where she pioneered the concept of brand content.

Before joining PHD, Tess worked at several ITV companies and was one of the few women to reach the level of Sales Director. She has also been involved in various charitable projects in our industry; she is a Past President and Honorary member of WACL, a Patron of NABS.

Referring to the medal and its prior recipients, Tess said she was: “Very grateful for this incredible recognition and to be joining the ranks of such illustrious company”.

Not only did the evening see the presentation of the medal by AA President Andy Duncan (pictured below with Tess), but also the launch of the timeTo report and its code of conduct that Tess helped to create, which aims to address the problem of sexual harassment within the advertising sector. The report and code is a collaboration between the AA, WACL, NABS, IPA and ISBA. Initial coverage can be found in Campaign and Marketing Week.

We’d also like to say thanks to our friends at Sky for hosting the reception at their lovely offices in Victoria.

Our deepest thanks to Andy Duncan

The President’s Reception was also the last such event with Andy Duncan as AA President. We’d like to thank Andy for his outstanding service as President of the Advertising Association over the last four years. Andy was recently announced as the new CEO of Travelopia, and prior to this served as CEO of Camelot UK, building the company into the world’s largest digital lottery. He has been both a dedicated champion for the industry and also a firm friend to AA and its members. In a few months’ time, when Andy’s term formally ends, we will hand over to a new President who we will announce soon and who will have big shoes to fill. Thanks again Andy!

On the Hunt for a plan

On Monday, Health & Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a new Government target to halve the number of obese children by 2020. The measures contained in the plan include restrictions on promotions, calorie labelling, and food and drink advertising – notably a 9pm watershed ban on the adverts for HFSS products. A consultation on the plan will be launched after the summer and the press release on the announcement can be read here and the full report can be accessed here.

Our Chief Executive Stephen Woodford said about the proposed ban: “UK advertising rules are already among the strictest in the world. They ban the advertising of HFSS food or drink products across all media where under 16s make up more than 25% of the audience. This includes TV, online, in social media, on the street or on public transport”. He also said that as an industry we support evidence-based and proportionate action that will have a positive impact on people’s lives and look forward to working with the Government on this issue. For more information on this topic and to read the full statement please head over to our new HFSS landing page.

Our statement on the announcement was covered by several media outlets including The Sun, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times, which all emphasised our view on the existing rules that are in place. The Sun also noted that the Government should consider the broader societal issues inherent in childhood obesity, while the Daily Telegraph additionally highlighted the Daily Mile as an excellent example of an initiative having a visible impact on children’s fitness.

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