The Advertising Association promotes the role and rights of responsible advertising and its value to people, society, businesses and the economy. We represent UK advertisers, agencies and brands on behalf of the entire industry, acting as the connection between industry professionals and the politicians and policy-makers.


The Advertising Association focuses on major industry and policy areas that have huge ramifications on UK advertising. This section contains our work around Brexit, HFSS and gambling advertising, data and e-privacy, trust, the digital charter and our Industrial Strategy campaigns.

Credos is the advertising industry’s independent think tank. It produces research, evidence and reports into the impact and effectiveness of and public and political response to advertising on behalf of UK advertisers in order to enable the industry to make informed decisions.

Front Foot is our industry’s member network of over 50 businesses across UK advertising. It aims to promote the role of responsible advertising and its value to people, society and the economy through a coalition of senior leaders from advertisers, agencies and media owners.

We run a number of events throughout the year, from our annual LEAD summit to the Media Business Course and regular breakfast briefings for our members. We are also the official UK representative for the world’s biggest festival of creativity – Cannes Lions.

10 Jun

All In Summit


/ July 13th 2020 / Noa Cohen
High Fat, Salt & Sugar Advertising

A letter from AA Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford appeared in The Times today (July 13) outlining our position on a 9pm watershed ban on the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar food and drink, highlighting the already strong rules in this area, and why we believe such a ban would be ineffective in the drive against obesity:


Sir, In response to the letter calling for a ban on junk food adverts before the watershed (July 11), it is worth noting that UK advertising rules on high fat, salt, sugar (HFSS) food and drink are already among the strictest in the world and restrict advertising of such products in and around TV programmes commissioned for, or likely to appeal to, children. Rules for all other media, including online, restrict HFSS ads where under-16s make up more than 25 per cent of the audience. These rules are comprehensive, proportionate and evidence-based. Enforcement by the Advertising Standards Authority is rigorous, effective and well respected. Over the past decade these rules have reduced children’s exposure to HFSS advertising by about 70 per cent, yet obesity levels have continued to rise. The government’s latest impact assessment showed that a 9pm watershed ban on HFSS advertising would at best only remove about 1.7 calories a day from a child’s diet. This is the equivalent of half a Smartie, a trivial impact at a very large cost to industry and jobs. As the country recovers from the Covid-19 crisis, we need to make effective choices and the government’s own evidence shows that a 9pm watershed is not one of these.

Stephen Woodford
CEO, Advertising Association

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