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.

Driving growth across the UK

/ February 14th 2018
AAccelerate UK Industrial Strategy

Advertising can drive the UK’s Industrial Strategy to build growth and productivity throughout the Regions and Nations.

We think advertising should be seen as a vital part of the UK’s economic infrastructure. That is why, in 2017, we developed a proposal in response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper for how advertising can help drive economic growth.

We propose SMEs should be encouraged to invest in advertising to grow their brands and businesses. We called on the Government to take action to encourage this investment through a fiscal incentive, such as a tax credit, growth voucher or grant.

SMEs represent 99% of businesses and 47% of private sector turnover (£1.8 trillion) in the UK. However, only 43% of them currently advertise, representing only 18% of spend.

YouGov research we commissioned in 2017 showed that SMEs that didn’t advertise feel inadequately informed about what advertising can do and how to go about it, and they think it is too expensive. Fiscal incentives, combined with industry awareness-raising measures, will drive changes in behaviour.

2018 will see the Advertising Association progress plans to grow the advertising market by encouraging more SMEs (up to 250 employees) to advertise. The opportunity is enormous.

The YouGov research suggests our core target will be high-growth, medium-sized businesses (50 – 250 employees), which are innovative (bringing new products to market).

Priority will go to first-time advertisers who invest in campaigns that use professional support and take a multi-media campaign approach, which is proven to produce best returns, in our pilot schemes.

We are launching two pilot schemes in the West Midlands and Scotland which are being crafted with the knowledge that SMEs say that cost, lack of understanding of the benefits of advertising and not knowing how to advertise are the key barriers.

These pilots, if successful, will build evidence for a scaling up across more of the UK and ultimately to secure a UK-wide programme supported by Government funding.

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