A delegation of Scottish advertising leaders will visit Holyrood today to meet with MSPs, discuss body image and representation in advertising, and promote Media Smart – a programme of free educational materials for schools and youth organisations, to help young people think critically about advertising.
Hosted by Christina McKelvie MSP, the Scottish Parliament event will feature research from Credos – advertising’s think tank – which suggests that negative body image can be a problem for young men just as much as for young women.
MSPs will be asked to become Media Smart ambassadors, promoting the media literary resources to schools and youth organisations in their constituencies. New resources include a body-image lesson pack, backed by the Government Equalities Office and PSHE Association, which uses real-life advertisements to help build children’s understanding and resilience.
The meeting is the first step in new efforts by the Advertising Association to improve understanding of the sector in Holyrood and raise awareness of advertising’s contribution to the Scottish economy. Formerly of Lloyds Banking Group, Lauren Spaven-Donn was appointed by the AA last year to lead the sector’s engagement in Holyrood.
Spaven-Donn said: “The creative industries are incredibly important to the Scottish economy and advertising is at the very heart of their success. We want to help Scottish parliamentarians better understand the contribution our sector makes and how we’re grabbing the initiative on issues like body image.”
MSPs will also be briefed by the IPA Scotland on its Student Advertising Awards – designed for students in their penultimate or final year of study, which in 2017 will focus on a challenge to create an idea to help tackle poor body confidence amongst Scotland’s teenagers.