Marketing News Noteworthy

‘A vital benchmark for progress’: AA, Isba and IPA set critical agency census


By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

January 28, 2021 | 4 min read

Industry diversity alliance the Inclusion Group has pledged to create a comprehensive demographic record of the UK advertising’s workforce, by conducting an agency-wide census in March.

The Inclusion Group to build great inclusion in UK advertising, with 'All In' campaign

The Inclusion Group to build great inclusion in UK advertising, with ‘All In’ campaign

Produced by the Inclusion Group – an alliance between the Advertising Association (AA), Isba and the IPA, ’All In’ will invite all UK advertising and marketing professionals to take part in a survey, which it hopes will help ”build a better, inclusive industry for all”.

“We know there is a systemic problem to tackle in our industry, that of fully inclusive representation in our workforce. To make the most meaningful change, we must set a benchmark to measure and track progress against,“ explains Kathryn Jacob, chair, Inclusion Working Group, formed last April by the Advertising Association (AA), Isba and the IPA.

“This census is a vital starting point for everyone to help build an industry that truly represents the world we live in today. I encourage people to spread the word.“

The Drum breaks down how the census will be conducted and why it’s critical.

What is ‘All In’?

  • A campaign devised by The Inclusion Group, ‘All In‘ plans to generate the biggest number of recorded entries as possible of those people working in the sector, to help build a better, inclusive industry for all.

  • Conducted over stages, it begins on 10 March, with a fully confidential and aggregated industry census, recorded and analysed by Kantar.

  • The census will entail a short survey, to be completed within a 30-minute window. All UK advertising and marketing services professionals will be invited to complete the survey.

  • The distribution will be supported by members of the AA, IPA, and Isba to reach the teams at thousands of agencies, media companies, brands and tech companies. The goal is to generate the biggest number of recorded entries as possible, of those people working in the industry.

  • The result will be used to inform an ‘Action Plan‘ to be launched at an industry summit this summer, that will address how great inclusivity across all areas of the industry‘s talent will be achieved.

  • The name ‘All In‘ was proposed by 4creative.

Who is the Inclusion Group?

  • Formed last April, by the AA, ISBA, and the IPA, the Inclusion Group was assembled to take action, in a bid to improve diversity with the UK‘s advertising industry.

  • The decision followed the IPA‘s agency census, that found ethnic diversity had fallen fractionally, year-on-year, causing concern that things weren‘t improving.

  • It is headed up by Kathryn Jacob, chief exec of Pearl & Dean, and pulls together luminaries from across the industry.

Why is this census important?

  • Brands and agencies have pledged to better their diversity and inclusion efforts, but as the IPA‘s agency census proved last year, progress is not only slow, it‘s deteriorating.

  • In the wake of June‘s Black Lives Matter protests, some of the biggest ad agencies in the world promised to do better, unveiling measures to address longstanding issues related to racism, inequality and discrimination.

  • The census begins in the nine months following these pledges, and will help identify the extent of progress.

  • “This Census is a hugely important moment for all of us in UK Advertising to get involved in,“ urges Jerry Daykin, senior media director, EMEA, GSK. “It will provide the much-needed confidential and aggregated data to make real progress against.“

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