According to our members, one of the primary benefits of belonging to Front Foot is in the early access to research from the advertising industry’s independent think tank Credos.
In October that benefit was in full display at the final Front Foot breakfast of the year. Taking place in the Scott Room in the Guardian’s offices in Kings Cross, 60 assembled Front Foot members were treated to a look ahead at our upcoming report into public and politicians’ favourability towards and trust in advertising.
The group heard from Front Foot chairman Mark Evans, Advertising Association chief executive Stephen Woodford, Credos director Karen Fraser, and IPA director-general Paul Bainsfair, with a focus on where we are now and where we should aim to be next year.
The report found that the public does value advertising, when it is seen as a source of information and a factor in our economic well-being. At its best, advertising is seen as a form of entertainment in and of itself, and valued as a source of public health information and promoter of social good.
Fraser and Bainsfair elaborated on the state of public trust in advertising, noting that “the findings of this research suggest that favourability is equivalent to general satisfaction and can be affected by many factors. These factors range from trivial matters of personal taste to serious matters of public concern such as advertising to children.
“Trust is a more specific measure and is affected by fewer factors. These factors tend to be more serious matters of genuine concern. When trust is damaged, it can lead people to question the morality of advertising.”
Following the presentation of the data, the guests separated into groups to discuss potential solutions over pastries and coffee. The groups included representatives of Mullenlowe London, M&C Saatchi, Royal Mail, Grey London, Guardian News and Media and many other Front Foot members.
The ideas that were returned represented the breadth of experience and disciplines present within the network: from ideas about how to protect the right of the industry to self-regulate to plans for better communication with consumers, each table returned thoughts that have since gone on to inform the Trust Working Group’s approach to the issue.
Restoring trust is one of Mark Evans’ main concerns as Front Foot chairman. In collaboration with our members and Credos, we will be working hard to identify best practice for restoring public trust in the entire industry. The full report into restoring public trust in advertising will be revealed at our upcoming LEAD 2019 conference in London, and disseminated through the network shortly thereafter.