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What you need to know from Renew: talent, pitching, Origin and fraud


By The Drum Team | Editorial

January 27, 2022 | 6 min read

Talent retention, addressing the mental health toll of pitching and the first address to the industry from culture secretary Nadine Dorries were the top talking points from the cross-industry Renew conference held by the Advertising Association (AA), the IPA and Isba. Here’s what you need to know.


What happened at the cross-industry Renew conference held by the Advertising Association, the IPA and Isba?

Nadine Dorries will tackle ad fraud

Between the pandemic, supply chain crises, and now partygate, the government’s priorities have arguably not been on drafting new policies, especially for advertising. But in her first address to the industry since becoming secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Nadine Dorries vowed to tackle the lack of transparency within the online ad sector and crack down on “intermediaries and digital platforms and how they decimate online advertising.”

“We’re looking to go further as a government and deliver meaningful change,” Dorries said.

After opening, and extending, the period to give evidence for the review in 2020, Dorries confirmed that the government will consult on the Online Advertising Programme in the spring, with a view to a comprehensive review of the regulatory framework.

“We want to get under the bonnet and shine a light on it,” she said.

The talent crisis

The AA has launched a Talent Task Force to review the industry’s strategy to attract and retain talent. You can read a full breakdown of it here. The latest phase will focus on improving the experience and prospects of key demographics: female, older and Asian talent based on new research from All In. Here’s the key stats to be aware of:

  • 10 times more women than men believed parental leave negatively impacted their career progression (53% of women versus 5% of men).

  • Women are six times more likely to be personally discriminated against because of their gender.

  • 27% of Asian respondents in its census reported they are likely to leave the industry due to a lack of inclusion and/or discrimination.

  • Just 4% of All In respondents were aged 55-64, compared to 17% of the UK working population. Of those, 43% of that bracket reported they feel age limits in their career.

Pitching’s impact on mental health

“There’s a great sense of camaraderie, but it can also be stressful and lead to burn out,” said IPA president and VCCP chief Julian Douglas on pitching.

“Pitches are bigger, more complex and more frequent, so we’re seeing negative mental health impact and a talent exodus that the pitch process is exacerbating.”

The damaging impact the pitch process can have on mental health was addressed by the IPA and Isba at the event. The industry bodies announced a cross-industry initiative called ‘The Pitch Positive Pledge,’ which aims to improve the pitching process to make it more intentional and accountable.

You can read the ins and outs of the announcement here, but over the coming months the IPA and Isba will be running a series of workshops with their members, partners and intermediaries to work through the full details and commitments of the Pitch Positive Pledge, which will be launched to the industry during Mental Health Awareness week in May 2022.

Isba dispells myths and calls for Origin backing

In his address, Isba president and chief executive of Peter Duffy called for more support for its cross media measurement project Origin.

It launched in 2019, but has hit some roadblocks. Duffy clarified some “myths” he said were being peddled in the industry, such as Origin being a replacement of initiatives such as IPA Touchpoints (“still a vital study,” said Duffy), and that it negates the cross-media work agencies have been doing internally, as well as efforts by third parties.

“Whenever you try anything new you are going to get those who don’t agree, and our quest for true cross-media measurement has been no different. The reasons for this are varied. There are those who favor the status quo – it’s working for them, so why fix it? There are those who fear what it might mean for them in terms of their own business growth tomorrow. And, if I am honest, I think there are those who just want to believe that there is no better way of doing things than what happens today,” he said.

“Origin adds to, rather than replaces, existing elements of the ecosystem. We are rightly proud of what has been achieved to date and the pace with which we are moving. Now, of course, there is still a long way to go and the plan is to fully launch the product in 2024. Before that there is a considerable amount of work to do. Phase 3 is about to be officially launched, and over 2022 the focus is on building out the production environment and service including the addition of single source panel data. In 2023 the focus is on trials [and] a pilot and then, when the solution passes all those tests, [it] will go fully live.

“We believe this will lead to more confidence and more investment in the industry. Good news for everyone and the thing we are all working towards.”

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