The ad business is our business so we make sure we are always talking to the right people about the things that matter. And there are a lot of people to talk to. From the advertisers, the media, research companies, and regulatory bodies to the UK Government and all the advertising-related trade bodies in the UK and around the world.
And we don't just talk. We also put our money where our mouth is.
We are major financial contributors to The Advertising Association (AA) which protects the freedoms to be able to advertise responsibly. And we financially contribute to and sit on the board of all the Joint Industry Committees (JICs) too.
There are eight JICs. All have been independently set up to verify audience measurement data. They include ABC, BARB, JICPOPS, JICREG, JICWEBS, PAMCo, RAJAR and UKOM. Supporting the JICs is a huge investment and it underlines our commitment to best practice standards.
We also work closely with the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) on areas of mutual interest. Whether it is on day-to-day issues such as good pitch practice and contracts or major lobbying projects such as brand safety and media transparency.
Maintaining an effective self-regulatory system which serves as a blueprint for successful advertising regulation around the world is a big commitment of ours. So we are proud to have been part of The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) from the very start. CAP makes sure that the Advertising Codes are legal, decent, honest and truthful and protect vulnerable members of society.
Our operating style is diplomatic but there's the odd occasion when behind closed doors diplomacy fails and we need to go public. For example:
We continue to work with our industry partners to try and counter the Government’s proposed restrictions on the advertising of HFSS foods which come into force in 2022. This includes messaging MPs about the alternative CAP proposal which better achieves the Government’s goals, and explains why the proposed legislation is flawed with complications and contradictions and undermines an adult’s freedom of choice and business’ right of expression.
In what can only be described as our most unprecedented year, we went from operating as a team from our base at Belgrave Square to 100% virtual delivery of advice and events, from our own homes, in the space of one day. There was no time to waste as we connected with industry partners to lobby Government on business critical issues. Various IPA teams were then responsible for shaping and cascading Government and industry advice on key business support schemes such as job retention (furlough) and production in addition to our usual programme. We are also proud to have been able to offer £500m of free learning for our members and a one-off Covid-Credit on membership fees.
In partnership with ISBA we formally called upon Google, YouTube and Facebook to urgently act on brand safety, video audience measurement and viewability. We aimed to deliver the necessary global standards in online advertising verification and cross-platform video advertising audience measurement. This call has seen the digital duopoly sign up to the Digital Trading Standards Group DTSG best practice standards and has initiated a number of progressive actions. which are ongoing.
Campaign reported: 'After what we can assume were years of quiet lobbying behind the scenes, the IPA roared last week with its public letter to the Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude complaining about the calamitous Government Procurement Service process for the selection of agencies to the creative services and strategy and planning frameworks. It informed Maude that its members had passed a vote of no confidence in the GPS’s ability. In a remarkable result, it worked – the Cabinet Office has agreed to meet with the IPA.'
We're here to make sure our members' voices are heard, wherever it matters. It's why being an IPA member makes sense. We are the power behind the practitioners.