Modern Marketing

IPA to establish code of conduct on bullying and harassment for ad agencies

By Cameron Clarke | Editor



Sexual Harassment article

March 26, 2018 | 3 min read

Trade body the IPA is to introduce a code of conduct for advertising agencies to use in their employment policies on bullying and harassment issues.

It is preparing a template which will "outline what objectification means and give advice on what acceptable work behaviours look like" in order to stop any activities that objectify men or women.

sarah golding

IPA president Sarah Golding plans to introduce an industry code of conduct

The initiative was given backing at an IPA Council meeting last week comprising leaders from 47 agencies across the UK.

The discussion was led by IPA president Sarah Golding whose own agency, The&Partnership, was recently caught up in a sexism scandal over an email from a departing staff member ranking the 'Top Five' and 'Bottom Five' female employees by their looks.

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Golding said: "What we agreed was that the IPA would pull together a template for agencies to adapt for their employment guidelines if there is no advice already.

"Agency cultures are very different, and it is important they are different, but how you respect each other as colleagues should be the same. We are now gathering best practice examples and will be issuing this template in the next couple of weeks."

Allegations of abuse and discrimination within the ad industry have risen to the surface in recent months after the #MeToo movement brought workplace harassment into the open.

Industry bodies Nabs, Wacl and the Advertising Association have also pledged to work together to tackle the problem as part of a joint campaign called #timeTo.

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