Philippa Brown, Chair, Advertising Association and Worldwide CEO, PHD
2019 was a pivotal year for responsibility in advertising. From the creation of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)’s call for more responsible advertising as part of reforms to online gambling, responsibility has dominated the headlines and boardroom agendas across the UK.
Over the past few years the Advertising Association has played a key role in bringing together the industry and arming them with insights and data to rebuild trust in advertising. However, as we enter another decade with Brexit still on the horizon and with trust at an all-time low, it is more important than ever for the advertising industry to up the ante to rebuild public trust. This is exactly what the Association’s new mission and strategy have been designed to do.
But it’s not just down to the Association. Advertisers and their partners need to double down on being straightforward and transparent in everything that they do.
Initiatives like the Association’s Front Foot are an important part of this. Created to identify specific collaborative actions, processes and protocols for protecting consumers and brands from safety issues, the alliance not only plays a crucial part in creating a sustainable industry but also offers a blueprint for shifting the dial when it comes to responsibility within our companies and teams.
From empowering teams to share failures as well as successes to taking responsibility at an individual, company and industry level, there is a lot that brands and agencies looking to promote the value of responsible advertising can (and should) learn from the likes of Front Foot and GARM. However, the biggest lesson here is the need to be more assertive and decisive.
At PHD, we talk a lot about the need to take strategic and imaginative leaps in order to drive growth. But it’s not just talk – the talk drives action. This is exactly what the industry needs to do. We need to be bold in our thinking and actions and take real responsibility for the growth and success of both our industry and the wider economy.