The Advertising Association is looking at rebranding itself as it plans to extend its remit as an umbrella trade body to represent the entire UK communications industry.
Sources close to the AA suggest the plan, being masterminded by its chief executive Baroness Peta Buscombe – also a Conservative member of the House of Lords – will be to represent the AA as the ultimate body that presents a “unified” voice for the advertising and communications industry.
One source says: “The fight against any more legislation or restrictions against marketing and advertising will have to be fought in an organised way. The politicians want to hear the whole communications story rather than try and understand the difference between display advertising or buy-one-get-one-free retail offers, and the AA could provide these answers.”
The initiative is reminiscent of a similar “big tent” move made by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) five years ago, which floundered when the Direct Marketing Association rejected proposals to merge its agency section to create a single trade body.
The chairman of the Institute of Sales Promotion Clive Mishon says: “If the AA is considering expanding its remit then it is welcome news for the communications industry which needs a cohesive voice and an organised campaign to represent it. We are a member of the AA and will continue to work closely with it.”
It is thought that the AA Council is also being urged to rethink its name, which often gets confused with the Automobile Association or Alcoholics Anonymous. The AA declined to comment.