Marketing bodies drop merger plans

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the Marketing Communication Consultants Association (MCCA) and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) have abandoned merger talks, after a study found considerable hostility to the idea among all three bodies’ members.

Instead, the three groups are to form an umbrella organisation – the Communications Agency Federation (CAF) – to provide a forum for trade associations in the communications industry, act as a lobby group and co-ordinate joint research projects.

MCCA chairman Matthew Hooper says the CAF will work on training initiatives and establish guidelines for clients and agencies on subjects such as pitching. He adds: “We will also be looking at how we can best work with the Advertising Association, the Advertising Standards Authority and the Committee of Advertising Practice to better police our industry, particularly given coming regulatory changes.”

The decision not to merge follows a report from Mark Boleat of Boleat Consulting, who was commissioned to explore possible options for the three bodies in September (MW September 19).

It is understood that Boleat found that while there were areas of overlap between the groups, there were also fundamental differences in their memberships’ needs. The enormous variation in annual subscription rates is also believed to have been a major bone of contention.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here