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 31.07.20

/ July 31st 2020 / Ellie Mason
Advertising Matters

HFSS Advertising Update

On Monday, the Government announced plans to introduce a 9pm watershed for TV and online HFSS adverts as part of its new obesity strategy and will publish a full consultation response on this by the end of the year. The Government also wants to go further and will publish a short consultation on introducing a total HFSS advertising restriction online. The intention is to implement both TV and online measures at the same time by the end of 2022.

As you can imagine, this has been a key focus for us this week. Responding on behalf of industry, we have spoken with DCMS and made our views clear regarding the ineffectiveness of these measures and we have also been working with other trade associations in the advertising and food and drink sectors, ISBA, IPA, FDF, BSDA and IAB to coordinate a unified and robust response to media. You can read our full statement here. This has been carried by the BBC, the Washington PostThe DrumCampaignThe Grocer and Mediatel among others. Our Public Affairs Director, Sue Eustace, also appeared on Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money (listen at 34:19), as well as LBC, Sky News, and ITV News debating with Action on Sugar.

Yesterday morning we also held a briefing on the proposals for 50 colleagues from across our Front Foot membership to give them an overview of how matters stand, as well as next steps for Government and industry. Representatives from ISBA and the IPA also joined the call to offer their perspective. Please contact Matthew Evans if you’d like to know more.


On Thursday we published the latest AA/WARC Expenditure Report for Q1 2020. The latest figures show that UK adspend is predicted to fall 15.6% year-on-year in 2020 to £21.4bn, which is a slight improvement on the drop of 16.7% forecast in April. New figures for Q1 2020 show total adspend rose 2.9% year-on-year to reach £6.4bn, just as the COVID-19 crisis was beginning to take hold.

These stark figures reinforce our call for a tax incentive scheme for our industry and the need for Government to continue to work with us to boost confidence in the economy and among consumers. We’re also emphasising that further regulatory interventions, such as those announced earlier this week on HFSS advertising, may weigh heavily on the recovery both for advertising and the economy more widely.

To read the full release head over to our website here. The figures have been covered in various outlets such as Little Black BookMediatel, and Mobile Marketing. Our President, Keith Weed, also spoke with The Times and Campaign on the figures.


For the first time, we will be co-hosting a special half-day conference at the QEII Centre, Westminster that will also be live streamed.

This unique moment in the 2021 calendar, replacing the AA’s LEAD and ISBA’s Annual Conference, will be the place for our industry’s leaders to gather and debate the opportunities and challenges for the year ahead. Advertisers, media owners, agencies and tech platforms as well as stakeholders in our industry from across Government are all invited to look at how UK advertising is dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19, how we can deliver on our mission to rebuild public trust in advertising and how we develop our position as a hub for world-class advertising. Join the teams of ISBA and the Advertising Association as the industry sets out its agenda for a year where UK advertising will have a pivotal role to play in the country’s social and economic recovery.

A full speaker line-up will be published over the coming weeks but, for now, please register your interest here and save the date of January 28, 2021. We’re very much looking forward to seeing you all! You can watch the showreels from LEAD 2020 here and ISBA Annual Conference 2020 here. Please contact with any queries.


We are a partner of AW2020, which having been postponed from April, will be held virtually over 8 days from 29 September and will incorporate six global markets. Expect a focus on getting back to business, purpose-driven connections, and global scale mixed with local reach.

Great minds think unalike. But now we must think together. Find out more here.


As we begin to ease out of lockdown we are seeing a shift in the work produced by our industry which is reflective of this. The Covid-19 category on our Ad Pays 8 hub, which is a showcase for ads that have had a positive contribution to society, shows the journey we’ve all been on, up to present time, through creativity. This week, read about how local news titles launched a variety of campaigns to support local businesses here.


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