New effectiveness accreditation scheme to highlight value of agencies

The programme was announced by IPA President Julian Douglas as part of his launch agenda.

New IPA President Julian Douglas has announced the launch of the IPA Effectiveness Accreditation programme, designed to fuel and better demonstrate the value that agencies deliver.

Our aim is for agencies to embed an effectiveness culture within their organisations: creating processes, environments, attitudes and ultimately, values, that deliver pride in the business results of what they do for their clients and themselves, across all departments.

Julian Douglas, IPA President

The IPA Effectiveness Accreditation will recognise an agency’s effectiveness culture, both in their internal practices and in their relationships with clients, and will offer a number of benefits to both agencies and clients.

Benefits of IPA Effectiveness Accreditation:

  • Agencies can use the evidence base created to show the commercial difference it makes and to validate changing briefing and budgeting processes.
  • It will help agencies to position themselves as true business growth partners to brands.
  • It will create a measure of distinction between agencies.
  • It will help the industry to create a culture in which effectiveness is not only a goal, but, in time, a basic requirement, an expectation between brand marketers and agencies.
  • It will help clients to justify and validate their choice of agency and the work they produce for them.
  • It will provide evidence for agencies wanting to enter recognised awards for effectiveness, but who may not be able to access client data.

The entry process will consist of a written paper and video submission. There will also be an anonymous questionnaire that will ask agencies how they engage with a variety of effectiveness resources, which will help to provide an industry benchmark on effectiveness culture and practices.

The submissions will be assessed by a panel of leading brand owners, academics, authors and renowned effectiveness specialists, and Chaired by Unilever’s Global Director Marketing Learning & Capabilities, Jo Royce.

"I am super excited and honoured to be part of the IPA's new Effectiveness Accreditation programme for agencies. Having worked with the IPA directly & in-directly over the last twenty years or so - from an agency, intermediary, media and brand owner leadership perspective - I know that their rigour and standards of excellence are second to none; making this accreditation an incredibly valuable undertaking for agencies - as well as providing clients with that crucial additional quality assurance."

"What's particularly progressive about this new effectiveness accreditation is that it will enable all agencies - regardless of size, style, or output - to get involved.  The fact that the criteria 'assessed' are so balanced is also important - with agencies having that opportunity to showcase their business beyond the work alone - considering their values, culture and overall approach."

Working with a huge number of different agencies in my current role, I know that it can be challenging sometimes to understand what to look for in a partner agency - so, robust and fair measures of agency strength such as the new effectiveness accreditation will really help - and ultimately benefit all parties involved in such partnerships.

Jo Royce, Global Director Marketing Learning & Capabilities, Unilever

Timeline and further details:

  • Deadline for submissions – 26 May 2021
  • Announcement of first accredited agencies – September 2021
  • If a submission is considered by the Assessment Panel to achieve a proficient vision of effectiveness and demonstrate and evidence a consistent capability to deliver it, the agency will be given Accreditation.
  • The Assessment Panel will also award a higher level of "Outstanding" for submissions that reflect advanced standards of performance, evidence, consistency and proven capability throughout the organisation.

The accreditation forms part of the wider cross-industry IPA-led EffWorks initiative that champions marketing effectiveness.

Find out more and apply for the IPA Effectiveness Accreditation scheme
Last updated 05 October 2021