It’s time to celebrate British advertising

Tom Knox shares IPA centenary celebration plans, featuring Ridley Scott, Alan Parker, Fay Weldon and Adam Buxton.

To celebrate the IPA's 100-year anniversary and to demonstrate that advertising has been “a powerful force for good in the social, cultural and economic life of this country”, the IPA will be hosting a Festival of British Advertising from 9-12 March at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. 

Speaking at the annual IPA President's Reception (12 January 2017), Tom Knox outlined the latest plans for the Festival, which will consist of live events to bring together key members of the industry, renowned film directors and leading figures in a series of panel discussions and screenings. Ticketed events confirmed so far include an exclusive screening of a film featuring Sir Ridley Scott discussing his career in advertising; Alan Parker, Film Director, sharing his career trajectory from Bird’s Eye to Bugsy Malone; and comedian Adam Buxton with a one-off show written especially for the festival. 

In addition, Cindy Gallop, founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn and Fay Weldon, novelist and writer will discuss advertising’s fearless females; Ealmon Holmes will present a comedy panel show that will provide an entertaining look at how the worlds of music and advertising have overlapped over the decades; and Sam Delaney, author of the best-selling Mad Men And Bad Men, will be joined by Bill Muirhead, Jeremy Sinclair and two top political key players to discuss what happened when Westminster fell in love with adland.

The Festival will also comprise an exhibition, open to the public, that will reflect on the past and the future of advertising as it faces and adapts to world events, huge technological changes and ever changing consumer habits.

Said Tom Knox: "The objectives of the festival are not just to celebrate the past 100 years but also to look forward to what the future may hold and specifically to inspire the next generation of talent to consider the opportunities that a career in advertising can offer." 

The four-day Festival will be sponsored by Channel 4 and Google and supported by the UK’s leading ad agencies.

Says Mark Howe, Managing Director EMEA Agencies at Google, "Advertising has always been one of the UK’s greatest exports – from the great, iconic adverts of the sixties to the growth of online advertising, for which the UK is the second biggest market after the US. At Google we want to continue to grow the industry by helping brands to reach their target audience effectively with great creative as well as encourage and support new and diverse talent into the industry. We are delighted to be alongside Channel 4 supporting this exciting celebration of our brilliant advertising industry." 

Says Dan Brooke, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer & Jonathan Allan, Sales Director at Channel 4, "We’re delighted to support this exhibition marking 100 years of the IPA. Advertising funds the delivery of Channel 4's public service remit to champion innovation, diversity and young people - as witnessed by our Paralympics advertising and coverage, which has changed public attitudes to disability, and shows what a powerful and benevolent influence advertising can be. Here’s to the next 100 years of the IPA." 

Visit; and #AdFest100 #IPA100 for further updates.

As part of the Festival, the IPA is offering Friend packages to member agencies and there are still a few available. Find out more at

The IPA is also hosting an Ad100 competition. This is an invitation to our agencies to enter your ideas to promote the Festival of British Advertising on London’s newest and most-exclusively addressed poster site in Knightsbridge from 6-12 March 2017. Competition entries will be judged by Paul and industry greats in early February. Find out more at

The Festival of British Advertising will be produced by Studio Sixty Billion - a production company specialising in comedy entertainment, online content and advertising. Festival contributors, members of the IPA and Studio Sixty Billion are available for features and interview. 

Click on the image below to view all the photos from the evening:

IPA President's Reception 2017

Watch Tom Knox's speech:

Last updated 21 January 2022