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

Scottish Government Diet & Obesity Consultation

High Fat, Salt & Sugar Advertising

Advertising is an engine of the Scottish economy, with the £1.7bn of adspend resulting in a contribution of £8.8bn to Scottish GDP, and revenues from advertising support 42,000 jobs across the country. The advertising industry recognises the seriousness of the obesity problem and wishes to play its part in working with the Scottish Government and other parties to address it.

The UK’s present system of advertising regulation is well-respected, recognised by the public and is working effectively. Recent changes to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code mean that advertisements for HFSS products cannot be targeted at children through any medium. And even prior to these changes UK broadcast advertising rules were already described by Ofcom as “amongst the strictest in the world.

The 2014 McKinsey report Overcoming Obesity places media restrictions as 12th out of 16 possible interventions in terms of cost-effective impacts on obesity, saying there is “little evidence for behaviour change resulting from such restrictions.

Industry is already committed to achieving behaviour change, reduction and reformulation of products high in fat, salt and sugar. There are multiple and complex factors – beyond advertising – that are instrumental in obesity, including familial influence, sedentary lifestyles and education. We urge the Scottish Government to focus its substantial efforts and capabilities on cost-effective interventions which would have a demonstrable impact on obesity levels in the country. The advertising industry stands ready to work with them to achieve this aim.

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