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 e-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.

Become A Member

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.

Advertising Matters 11.12.20

/ December 11th 2020 / Ellie Mason
Advertising Matters

No return to the old normal

Yesterday, the timeTo team published new research into sexual harassment levels in advertising, which showed that 49% of respondents believe it will be more of a problem as businesses return to offices next year versus their experience during lockdown.

The study by Credos, UK advertising’s think tank, on behalf of the Advertising Association, NABS and WACL, identified concern home working will have created dangerous knowledge gaps around the issue of sexual harassment with respondents worried boundaries of appropriate behaviour being forgotten. In response, the timeTo team has refreshed its Code of Conduct and training programme to meet the new demands of a hybrid work environment.

The refreshed Code of Conduct now includes advice on working in a virtual world on what forms online sexual harassment can take, guidance for employers on this and guidance for those who have been directly affected. Alongside this the timeTo training incorporates research learnings and helps to educate on ways sexual harassment can manifest when working virtually or in a hybrid environment.

Our Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford, commented: “2020 has been a tumultuous year and we are determined that we make good on our collective ambition to build back better. This has to include a renewed approach to ensure our workplaces are ones that are safe and can be enjoyed by all.” Read more on our website here. The news was also covered by trade media such as CampaignThe Drum and Mediatel.

Challenging the government’s ad ban plan

This week has seen a raft of Parliamentary Questions tabled by MPs on HFSS advertising and the UK Government’s proposals for a full online ban. The published answers to the questions have given little concrete detail, but the fact they are being asked demonstrates MPs’ interest in the subject. Yesterday, during the Business Statement, Mark Eastbury MP asked the Leader of the House, Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, that ‘given the pervasive impact of the proposals and the flimsy evidence base, will [he] commit to holding a debate before any proposals are taken forward?’. Glasgow North MP Patrick Grady, who joined AA Scotland members for a joint session with the Industry and Parliament Trust last month, also indicated his assent. Mr Rees-Mogg urged members of the House and the public to respond to the consultation.

Separately, we are drafting an AA response to the Government consultation, with the intention of submitting this by the deadline of 22 December, along with a review of the Government’s evidence accompanying the consultation. Contact Matt Evans for further information.

Gambling act review launched

On Tuesday, the Government announced its review of the Gambling Act (2005) and launched a call for evidence. Minister for Sport, Heritage and Tourism, Nigel Huddleston MP, emphasised the importance of regulation that was fit for the digital age and that Government sought to deliver on the original priorities of the 2005 Act: the protection of children and vulnerable people in a fair and open gambling economy, which is also crime free.

‘Advertising, sponsorship and branding’ is one of the six categories in the call for evidence, which is open until 31 March 2021. The AA will be setting up a member working group in the New Year to consider its response.

Unruly announced as partner for reset 2021

This week we were delighted to welcome Unruly as a Gold Partner for RESET 2021 – our first joint event with ISBA and the IPA. We have also announced some more speakers from our stellar line-up. The full list to date:

  • Aasmah Mir, Broadcaster, Times Radio
  • Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer, LEGO Group
  • Oliver Dowden CBE, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Karen Blackett OBE, UK Country Manager, WPP
  • Alex Mahon, Chief Executive Officer, Channel 4
  • Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer, Tesco PLC
  • Trevor Johnson, Head of Marketing, Global Business Solutions Europe, TikTok
  • Steve Hatch, VP, Northern Europe, Facebook
  • Tom Knox, Executive Partner, Mullenlowe
  • Peter Duffy, President, ISBA; Chief Executive, Moneysupermarket
  • Kathleen Saxton, Executive VP & MD EMEA, MediaLink
  • Andrew Garrihy, CMO, Western Europe & Head of Brand, Huawei
  • Johnny Hornby, Founder, The&Partnership
  • Geraldine Allinson, Director, Iliffe Media
  • Nigel Vaz, President, IPA; Chief Executive, Publicis Sapient
  • Keith Weed, President, Advertising Association

In addition to the fantastic content sessions we are planning, attending RESET represents a unique opportunity to gain access to the members across our three organisations and network with a senior and influential audience across the entire advertising landscape.

Book your ticket here and don’t forget we are offering members and under-30s a discount!


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