What is advertising?

Advertising is any communication, usually paid-for, specifically intended to inform and/or influence one or more people – Jeremy Bullmore


Well let’s just jump right in: this week Credos published Advertising’s Big Questions. And helpfully, they come with answers too.

It’s a simple premise: some questions about advertising are perennial. And while the AA published the most authoritative answers in the 80s and 90s, today’s search data shows that people are still making the same enquiries. So with 101’s Laurence Green serving as executive editor, we asked the biggest thinkers in advertising today to update the answers, digitising the original works in the process.

And of course we’d say this, but it really is fantastic stuff, “about the fundamentals of our business” – from top thinkers like Bullmore, Feldwick, Angear, Green, Kendall, and Kennedy. They’re so good we’re advertising them. So please, click, read, and share. You won’t regret it.

Is advertising a barrier to market entry?

It can actually make the idea of market “more attractive” explains Rachel Kennedy from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science in her Big Answer – part of the thinking behind the 2005 Gambling Act, that opened the door for broadcast ads, under the strict eye of the ASA.

Since then there’s been no shortage of scrutiny of the relevant rules, and the impact of those ads, particularly on children and vulnerable groups. Just last year a four-strand review for the Government concluded, finding no evidence for tightening the regs further.

But gambling ads have always been a political football – see the name of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act that was really all about remote gambling. And the latest review of gaming machines, that tacked on a call for evidence on advertising. Our response to that call is in to DCMS today, at the end of a week where the Gambling Commission “warned parents to be vigilant” about the risks of gambling. The pressure is on, and Kate can keep you up to date.

How does advertising work?

Paul Feldwick’s essay is a perfect primer on the many ways advertising can be effective, and he (with his son Oliver, head of digital strategy at CHI&Partners) will use those findings to make the case for advertising to Government at LEAD 2017 in January. But in the meantime it’s worth remembering that it isn’t all about selling stuff. Sometimes, in the words of Government Comms Director Alex Aitken, it’s about “saving, improving and enriching lives”, and on the Commons Terrace next week we’ll be showcasing seven campaigns that do just that, to the 100+ MPs and Peers that have RSVP’d so far.

Culture Committee Chair Damian Collins (who penned a piece on the topic for The House magazine  this week) is our host, and we’ll start previewing the campaigns that are bringing the event to life on Twitter from Wednesday. Tune in then.

For our ad of the week and more advertising news, click here.

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