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Industry’s Trust Working Group to Review Public Trust in Advertising at October Summit

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New Credos research to provide latest data on public trust and favourability towards advertising

The Advertising Association’s Trust Working Group, chaired by the IPA and ISBA director generals, Paul Bainsfair and Phil Smith, will hold a half-day summit for the industry on October 6th to review the latest research on UK public trust of advertising, the progress on its Trust Action Plan and the next steps for system change in the industry as it tackles the decline of trust in advertising. 

The Summit will include new research from UK advertising’s thinktank, Credos, revisiting the work it delivered in January 2019 which served as a catalyst for the development of the Trust Action Plan. The Credos team will be joined by speakers including the Advertising Associations’ president Keith Weed and chair Philippa Brown, as well as the Advertising Standards Authority CEO Guy Parker, Nat West CMO, Margaret Jobling, Walkers Snacks marketing director, Fernando Kahane, Boots VP marketing director Helen Jeremiah, Kantar’s head of creative excellence, Lynne Deason.

The Summit will take place in-person at the Curzon Soho and also be streamed online for attendees wishing to take part in this essential update to the activities of the Trust Working Group, which have continued during the pandemic. Anyone wishing to attend can register for a place here.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive, Advertising Association, said: “As we build back better from the impact of the pandemic on our industry, this is a critical moment for us to take stock on where the public is at with the work of our industry, the levers we can pull to rebuild trust and favourability and the opportunities this will bring to all advertising professionals wishing to create great work that fulfils the economic and social responsibilities of advertising. I am very excited at the prospect of seeing a line-up of great speakers in one room together along with fellow professionals in the audience and joining us online. We have much to share and much planned for the coming months when it comes to delivering on our Trust Action Plan.”

About the Advertising Association’s Trust Working Group 

In 2018, the Advertising Association decided that action needed to be taken to address the decline in public trust in advertising and set up a working group under the joint chairmanship of Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA, and Phil Smith, director general of ISBA. 

The working group has broad and senior representation from industry bodies including the News Media Association, Professional Publishers Association, Data & Marketing Association and the Internet Advertising Bureau as well as from ITV, Channel 4, Google, Facebook, Royal Mail, the ASA and the chairs of Front Foot and Credos. It regularly reports on its progress to the AA Council, chaired by the Advertising Association’s President, Keith Weed, with a mission to bring about system change through individual action. It launched its Trust Action Plan at the 2019 ISBA Annual Conference with five actions designed to create a system change in advertising. 

The actions are as follows:

1. We will reduce advertising bombardment

2. We will reduce excessive advertising frequency and re-targeting

3. We will ensure the ASA is ‘best in class’

4. We will ensure that data privacy matters

5. We will show that advertising can drive social change

In January 2020, the group published research demonstrating what the industry needed to do more of (and less of) to rebuild public trust in advertising, as seen in the following chart:

The group published Advertising Pays 8: UK Advertising’s Social Contribution in January 2020 which, for the first time, measured the contribution of advertising to UK society. Since then, it has continued to track this vital contribution during industry’s response to Covid-19. 

The following month, it published Improving The Public’s Advertising Experience – The Advertisers’ Role which includes a new Advertising Experience MOT from ISBA for any advertiser looking to safeguard the consumer, avoid advertising bombardment and wasted investment. 

In September 2020, a new advertising campaign for the Advertising Standards Authority launched in Scotland to promote its role in helping to keep all ads ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’. It was developed in partnership with the Advertising Association’s Trust Working Group and featured creative by The Leith Agency starring famous brands including Audi, Churchill, IRN-BRU, Marmite, Mastercard and Tesco, all generously supported by donated media space. Public response was tracked as a test for further campaigns across other UK nations as part of the industry’s drive to rebuild public trust in advertising. The results will be presented at the October 6 Summit.

In Spring 2021, Credos was commissioned to assess the impact of the pandemic on the public’s trust of advertising. It has conducted a quantitative and qualitative study, the details of which will be shared at the Trust Summit.

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