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.