Advertising industry to woo public

The Advertising Association (AA) is planning a three-year marketing campaign to improve the industry’s public image.

The initiative, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, will seek to persuade consumers of the benefits of advertising, and counter public misconceptions about the industry.

It is expected to focus on the role advertising plays in funding the media and promoting competition.

It will also target the Government, civil servants, the media and the industry itself, through a lobbying and public relations offensive.

The AA is hoping the industry will get behind the campaign by contributing creative work and media space. The association has already had talks with poster contractors about using spare poster sites.

A campaign brief is also being prepared, which will be put out to a number of agencies, including Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and agencies on the Unilever roster.

The campaign is being co-ordinated by an AA taskforce, headed by its vice-chairman Keith Weed who is chairman of Elida Fabergé, and AMV managing director Andrew Robertson.

Sara Price, the AA’s head of public affairs, says: “A lot of the recent calls for restrictions on advertising are based upon a misunderstanding of how it works.

“There is ignorance about the role advertising plays in funding the media, promoting competition and benefiting consumer choice. We need some kind of campaign to get this message across.”

Some of the key themes of the campaign will be introduced by Lord Bragg at the Labour Party conference, in a speech entitled “The Role of Advertising in Funding a Pluralistic Media”.

The AA has also booked Sir Tim Bell to speak at the Conservative Party conference.

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