The Advertising Association promotes the rights, roles and responsibilities of advertising. 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 the UK advertising industry’s members’ network. Membership offers a range of exclusive benefits, from early access to Credos research to invitations to networking events. Front Foot members seek to collaboratively find solutions to the biggest issues facing advertising.

Become A Member

Members of our exclusive Front Foot network receive early access to Credos research, invitations to regular breakfast briefings and networking events, and receive the exclusive Front Foot Quarterly magazine. To apply for membership, click here.

The Advertising Association runs a number of events, from our annual agenda-setting LEAD conference to bespoke breakfast briefings. As of 2018 we are the official UK representative for the world’s biggest festival of creativity at the Cannes Lions.

Welcome To Our 2017 Annual Review

Annual Report

This annual review is the revival of a long-standing tradition of the Advertising Association – the production of a publication that informs our members about the aims and initiatives of the Advertising Association over the previous year. 

The proportion of the current advertising and marketing workforce in London who have migrated here from abroad in the last 12 months is three times as high as the corresponding figure in New York, and also higher than in Paris and Amsterdam. More than a third of these recent migrants come from European Union (EU) countries, with many others arriving from the United States and Australia. Although London attracts the majority of this international talent, more than a quarter (29%) of migrants to the UK have come to work outside London. Interviewees for this report, representing a broad cross-section of companies both buying and selling advertising services, consistently emphasise the essential contribution of non-British workers to the industry. Without such diversity in the workforce, creativity and customer service would suffer dramatically.


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AA Introducing
Stephen Woodford CEO at the Advertising Association

It’s been a fascinating first year as the Advertising Association’s CEO and I am very proud of the team here and what we’ve achieved together; made possible by the incredible support from our members and industry friends.

This review is principally about the activities of the AA, but, as importantly, it includes the work of Credos, advertising’s think-tank, Media Smart, advertising’s media literacy programme and Front Foot, the industry’s coalition to campaign for advertising. As such, it brings together the combined efforts to represent advertisers, media and agencies as one single voice to Government, key influencers and to the wider public.

We’re in a time of tremendous change – political, social and technological – in society and in our industry, with the challenges and opportunities this presents. Through all of this we never lose sight of the important and vital economic and social roles advertising plays for our country, now and through Brexit and beyond. This Review covers many of the complex issues our industry has faced, including advertising’s contribution to the UK’s future Industrial Strategy, the Government’s Digital Charter, data legislation, the gambling advertising review, HFSS products advertising and he Brexit-related issues, including immigration, talent and future trade.

Two highlights stand out for me – our LEAD conference in January, which sets our agenda for the year , and the launch of our ‘World class talent, world class advertising’ report in October. This demonstrates both the crucial importance of international talent to our industry’s success and the UK-wide employment advertising creates, with 57% of jobs outside London. I also reviewed the Advertising Association’s founding principles, shown on page 7 of the review. They are just as relevant in 2018 as they were in 1926.

Our focus for 2018 is clear. The two Industrial Strategy work streams, to protect and grow advertising exports and help SMEs grow faster across the UK, will be central, as well as ensuring advertising’s voice continues to be heard in the Brexit negotiations. The AA has monitored public favourability and trust in advertising for decades and in 2018 we will be looking at industry strategies to improve both.

I hope you enjoy the Review and on behalf of all of us at the AA, thank you for your continued support.

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"This is a crucial time for our sector. It is vital for us all that we secure the best result for advertising and ensure the UK remains a world-class hub for talent. We also need to take full advantage of the government's industrial strategy to drive growth right across the UK."

Andy Duncan Group CEO of adam&eveDDB and Chairman or the Advertising Association

The preliminary estimate for 2017 growth is

(to £22.1bn), an upgrade of 0.3 points since October's forecast.
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