Head of ISBA to call for responsible advertising

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) director-general Mike Hughes will use his first annual lunch as a rallying call for responsible advertising and attack the “vocal minority” who skew the debate.

His comments echo the tough new stance of the Advertising Association, which, under chief executive Baroness Peta Buscombe, has made its mission to protect “advertising freedoms” and plans to launch a lobbying and advertising push to fight back.

Hughes will launch the ISBA annual report at next week’s lunch on July 3. In it, he sets out advertising’s role in generating jobs and galvanising businesses.

He uses his address to state: “The freedom to advertise responsibly is crucial to the quality of life we seek in our society. Advertising helps to build strong brands, which support strong businesses, which generate jobs.”

Hughes says: “It informs, educates and enriches our daily life. It follows that this would be a greyer and less prosperous place without the benefits accruing from responsible advertising.”

Yet, while the vast majority would agree with this view, he says, there is a “vocal minority” which does not.

“Easy target” advertising has come under siege from the Government, lobby groups and the public who have blamed the industry in debates surrounding junk food, alcohol and gambling.

He also points to the role that self-regulation in advertising must play and says ISBA will continue to promote that approach within the EU.

Hughes, a former Coca-Cola marketer and chief executive of Bulmers, succeeded Malcolm Earnshaw as director-general.

Since arriving less than two months ago, he has changed the ISBA logo for the first time in more than a decade.

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