The Advertising Association’s position as the link between advertising and politics is never more apparent than at our annual Parliamentary Reception. Luminaries from the advertising world mingled with MPs and vendors in the Churchill Room at the Palace of Westminster, and representatives of both worlds shared a podium to kick off the event.

Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Select Committee, began the speeches by reaffirming his belief that advertising is effectively one of the crown jewels of the British creative industries, and that its practitioners can be very proud of the UK’s outsized influence in the wider advertising world.

Following that, Advertising Association Chief Executive Stephen Woodford took to the podium to note that the industry is bracing to face significant headwinds due to uncertainty around Brexit. Consequently, he said, the industry is pursuing a proactive strategy through its Promote UK campaign, reaching out to key territories outside the EU for growth.

The IPA’s Janet Hull – who also chairs Promote UK – elaborated on Promote UK’s upcoming calendar of events, which includes high-profile visits to the Shanghai International Advertising Festival, South by Southwest and a tour of the West Coast of America. She handed over to Philip Thomas, Chief Executive of Ascential Events, who noted that the UK has traditionally performed extremely well at the Cannes Lions, and that promoting local British talent at it and similar events will be vital to overcome Brexit headwinds.

Following the speeches, the assembled guests enjoyed networking in the sumptuous Churchill Room and sampled some work from gathered exhibitors including Framestore, adamandeveDDB and more.