The Advertising Association promotes the role and rights of responsible advertising and its value to people, society, businesses and the economy. 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 our industry’s member network of over 50 businesses across UK advertising. It aims to promote the role of responsible advertising and its value to people, society and the economy through a coalition of senior leaders from advertisers, agencies and media owners.

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Membership offers a range of exclusive benefits, from early access to Credos research to invitations to exclusive networking events. The Front Foot network helps us shape the annual agenda and means members are at the forefront of the latest thinking and industry initiatives of value to their businesses.

We run a number of events throughout the year, from our annual LEAD summit to the Media Business Course and regular breakfast briefings for our members. We are also the official UK representative for the world’s biggest festival of creativity – Cannes Lions.

Keith Weed at LEAD ’19: It’s ‘Trust or Bust’

/ February 5th 2019
Public trust in advertising

On Wednesday our Advertising Association president Keith Weed offered the delegates of our LEAD ‘19 conference a stark ultimatum: “Trust or bust”.

Weed addressed the endemic issue of falling public trust in advertising – and potential solutions – in front of a standing room only crowd at Kings Place in London. Based on newly-released trust research from Credos, Weed and other industry veterans noted that since advertising depends wholly on the ability to communicate authentically with audiences, any break in trust undermines the messages we attempt to communicate.

Weed set out his ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ of advertising, ranging from inauthenticity around influencer marketing to poorly-handled personalised advertising. He ended his speech with a multi-part call to action to help address the fall in trust, ranging from raising awareness of the activities of the ASA and the action of the ICO to gathering industry-wide support for pro-social forces for good.

An all-star panel consisting of representatives from the Guardian, Nationwide, WPP and Google then discussed the rapidly-changing advertising landscape that has brought the issues of trust into stark focus. The Guardian’s CRO Hamish Nicklin questioned whether the goldrush for data has overshadowed the industry’s real strength of creativity, while WPP’s Karen Blackett OBE noted that the industry still has a long way to go to be representative and wholly trusted again.

Other sessions over the course of the half-day event focused on the intersection of advertising and politics. Graham Stuart MP discussed the work of the Department for International Trade around our Promote UK campaign. Labour’s Tom Watson recounted how his own experience as “a failed advertising executive” informs his decisions as a politician, saying “some say advertising is just a mirror on our culture; I think advertising shapes our culture.”

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