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Advertising Association President Launches Talent Taskforce

Advertising Association

4 min read Partner content

UK Advertising ThinkTank commissioned to assess industry's competitiveness to attract UK and International Talent

London, January 27, 2021: The Advertising Association President, Alessandra Bellini, has announced a new Talent Taskforce at today’s advertising industry conference, RENEW2022, which has been delivered in partnership with ISBA and the IPA.

The advertising industry employs more than 300,000 people[1] across the UK, but a stronger than forecast demand for advertising and marketing services, inflationary pressures on salaries and talent shortages is putting pressure on everyone – from junior account executives to CEOs.

This new Taskforce will review the industry’s strategy to attract and retain the best talent and understand how the advertising workforce can better represent the diversity of its audience. It will be aligned with the work of All In, which has provided the most detailed data yet on the make-up of the industry and the systemic changes needed to retain talent through a more inclusive workplace.

As its first action, the Talent Taskforce has commissioned UK advertising’s think tank, Credos, to produce a Talent Report to assess the competitiveness of the industry as a career choice. The brief for the Talent Report covers:

1. The macro-economic picture for UK advertising – how the UK advertising and marketing services industry fares versus other industries in the UK job market.

2. A cross-industry analysis – looking at the challenges within advertising and marketing services across brands, agencies, media owners and tech companies to develop and retain the skills needed.

3. The hearts and minds of industry professionals – a combination of qualitative and quantitative research studies to better understand what is driving job satisfaction.

The Task Force will also work to raise Government awareness about the value and importance of supporting and investing in the practical skills training provided by industry trade bodies and professional associations. Devised by business leaders, they offer practical and state of the art skills training and should be a vital part of the UK’s overall skills strategy.

Alessandra Bellini, President, Advertising Association, said: “From the moment I joined the association last Autumn, talent retention has come up time and time again as a common challenge we are all facing. We are a people industry, and it is thanks to our brilliant, skilled people that the UK ad industry is forecast for the fastest growth of any ad market around the world. But we have a role to play in supporting our people. I feel very passionate that we nurture and support progression, encourage diversity and ultimately continue to attract talent. This taskforce is the first step but has the potential to make a real positive difference across the industry.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, added: “The UK advertising industry is a key driver of the economy and increasingly an important factor in how our society responds to the big challenges we face as we strive as a country to build back better from the pandemic. I passionately believe that advertising can offer people a rich, fulfilling career but I am also acutely aware that there is much more we need to do to be truly inclusive and competitive versus other industries to attract and retain the most talented people. This is a vital new workstream for the AA and our members, complementing and building on the All In programme with ISBA and the IPA, so we can secure the most-skilled, most inclusive and most productive ad industry workforce.”

The Talent Taskforce will review the findings of the Credos report and aligned with the Inclusion Working Group, consider how best to boost the industry’s appeal to talent, presenting options to the Advertising Association’s Council this summer to form the next 3-year strategy for the AA membership and wider industry. It is expected Talent will grow as a critical workstream for the Advertising Association alongside Public Trust and delivery of the All In and Ad Net Zero Action Plans, helping the industry delivers on its economic and societal responsibilities to the UK, aid the COVID-19 recovery and transition to a net zero economy.

[1] Source: Ad Pays 6, Credos


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