The Advertising Association promotes the rights, roles and responsibilities of advertising. We represent UK advertisers, agencies and brands on behalf of the entire industry, acting as the connection between industry professionals and the politicians and policy-makers.

The Advertising Association focuses on major industry and policy areas that have huge ramifications on UK advertising. This section contains our work around Brexit, HFSS and gambling advertising, data and-privacy, trust, the digital charter and our Industrial Strategy campaigns.

Front Foot is the UK advertising industry’s members’ network. Membership offers a range of exclusive benefits, from early access to Credos research to invitations to networking events. Front Foot members seek to collaboratively find solutions to the biggest issues facing advertising.

Become A Member

Members of our exclusive Front Foot network receive early access to Credos research, invitations to regular breakfast briefings and networking events, and receive the exclusive Front Foot Quarterly magazine. To apply for membership, click here.

The Advertising Association runs a number of events, from our annual agenda-setting LEAD conference to bespoke breakfast briefings. As of 2018 we are the official UK representative for the world’s biggest festival of creativity at the Cannes Lions.

Bringing the House of Commons to Cannes

The House of Commons came to Cannes on the morning of Tuesday June 18 as delegates from across British advertising came together to debate on the importance of creativity in a business’ success. Newsworks Communications Manager Hannah Ohm-Thomas takes us through the debate.

The British advertising industry’s leading figures came together today to debate the case for and against the motion that creativity is the most important factor in a business beating its competitors. 

Proposing the motion was adam&eveDBB co-founder James Murphy joined by Grey London CMO Sarah Jenkins. Kicking off the debate, Murphy discussed the definition of creativity and how – through new ideas and perspectives – it has transformed markets and businesses, allowing them to differentiate and boost their value.

For British institutions like John Lewis, for every £1 invested in marketing, £25 is generated in profit. And big business is recognising the value placed on creativity, recently signalled by Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of creative advertising agency Droga5.

To second the motion, Jenkins focused on people. Commenting that without human inspiration we cannot drive businesses forward – machines don’t ask questions, but people do, and it is that curiosity that creates results. Murphy concluded, “we could have all had an mp3 player, but then Apple brought out the iPod” – the room smiled.

Next up, opposing the motion was Senior Analyst at Bloomberg Matthew Bloxham together with futurefactor Client Partner Sarah Taylor. Speaking on the importance of doing rather than just thinking, Bloxham used Thomas Edison’s quote “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” as the foundation of their argument.

Unpacking “perspiration”, the duo discussed business disciplines such as sound customer service, consistency of execution, diversity of workforce, speed, and efficiency and how they provide revenue.

Using the example of diversity as a way to drive results – something that is being widely discussed at Cannes Lions this year – according to McKinsey “the top 20% of gender diverse businesses, provide 27% more value creation”.

“Business is a sum of parts” said Taylor and they have to be dynamic to be able to move the needle. Although the pair acknowledge that creativity is good for business, the ability to effectively harness its power and translate that into value is key.

Bloxham’s summarised the opposition’s argument with “execution is the most important thing in the cocktail of business success.”

The proposition secured the votes they needed to win the motion, with all credit to the opposition for a very compelling argument.

The panel was moderated by Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association. The International Advertising Association (IAA) is a fellow member of The Debating Group.