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.


/ December 18th 2020 / Ellie Mason
Advertising Matters

Final thoughts on 2020 from AA CEO, Stephen Woodford

Welcome to the last ‘Advertising Matters’ of 2020. It’s a relief to be signing-off for 2020 (well almost, as our submission to the Government’s needlessly-rushed consultation on an HFSS online advertising ban is due in on 22nd December and the AA team will be working flat out on this with industry colleagues, right up to the deadline).

I hope each week this newsletter has helped keep you informed about our work and this year, more than any other, on the latest Government announcements and what these have meant for our industry, the latest news and (virtual) events and of course all of the wonderful ad campaigns that have helped the UK get through the crisis. All we have experienced has demonstrated our industry’s resilience, agility and responsibility and that it sits right at the heart of the UK’s economic and social wellbeing. For me, the most poignant advertising image, that will sum up 2020, was on Ocean Outdoor’s iconic Piccadilly Lights;

We may not yet be able to freely ‘meet again’, but the sentiment I hear from many leaders across our industry is the year has turned out better (or less bad) than they feared when we went into the first lockdown. No doubt the recovery in 2021 will be hard-won, but if 2020 proves anything, it is how advertising at its best works its hardest for business and society when times are tough. Advertising will play a key part in the UK’s recovery and looking ahead, as we all try to ‘build back better’, the AA and our members will be building on our work in 2020 across trust in advertising, climate and sustainability action, inclusion, exports and in many other initiatives. We will be setting out our ambitious agenda at our RESET 2021 conference with ISBA and the IPA and I hope you can join us there.

My proudest moment this year came on 18th November, at our launch of ‘Ad Net Zero’, our plan for UK advertising to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Nearly 700 people from 17 countries attended this event and in 2021 we are looking forward to starting the race to zero.

Finally, I want to thank all the industry colleagues in our membership and beyond for the team spirit, positivity and determination to meet every challenge with a solution that makes our industry stronger and better.

I hope that everyone has a restful and safe festive break and on behalf of the AA team, Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year, one and all!

Watch our COP26 event on demand

On Wednesday morning we hosted a special Ad Net Zero event with COP26 Strategy Director, Charles Ogilvie.

Charles informed attendees on how they can support efforts to start new, bolder, more engaging conversations with people on climate change in the year of the crucial COP26 summit, which unites the world to tackle climate change. He also spoke of plans for next year’s event, which takes place in November, as well as the recently launched “Together For Our Planet” campaign, and the session closed with an informative live Q&A hosted by our Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford. It was a very inspiring event which was attended by nearly 200 people from 11 different countries including Germany, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Singapore, Japan and the USA. A huge thanks goes to all who joined us.

We are pleased to be able to provide the webinar on demand here if you were unable to make it on the day.

C4 Diversity in advertising award 2020

Last week, at The Roundhouse in London, our very own Sharon Lloyd Barnes spent the day judging (socially distanced!) Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award for 2020, which focused on the authentic portrayal of UK BAME cultures in advertising this year.

The theme of this year’s award was chosen following new research commissioned by 4Sales which found there is a universal lack of authentic portrayal of people from all BAME communities, their backgrounds, lives and cultures in TV advertising. Each year the competition focuses on a different area of diversity to encourage the ad industry to embrace inclusive creative campaigns.

On Wednesday, it was announced that EA Sports and its creative agency, adam&eveDDB, won the award, receiving the grand prize of £1m of commercial airtime and the launch of their winning campaign on Channel 4 in 2021. You can read more here.

Brexit – ensure your business is ready

BEIS has urged all businesses to ensure that they have a Standard Contractual Clause (SCC) in place to ensure that personal data can continue to flow from the EU/EEA to the UK from 1 January 2021. It is not yet clear whether the UK will be granted data adequacy status, but SCCs will guarantee that businesses can continue to receive data, no matter what the EU and UK decide. You can read more about how to prepare for this here.

This week: UK advertising in the media

In our weekly series we are pulling together, in one place, a selection of must-reads from across our industry media.

Click here to check it out!


You’ve made it this far – why not treat yourself and watch our ad of the week?

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