Advertising Association, ISBA and IPA launch inclusion drive

The Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA have come together to form a new Inclusion Group, chaired by Kathryn Jacob, CEO, Pearl & Dean, to improve the diversity of UK advertising’s industry through its workforce and creative output.

Its first action has been the creation of UK Advertising Needs You – a showcase for the industry’s many diversity and inclusion schemes. The unique one-stop-shop features advice for candidates looking to join the industry alongside useful resources for employers wishing to develop ways to recruit from the widest range of candidates. The launch comes at a time when all UK advertising businesses are reappraising the way they work following the impact of COVID-19.

Inclusion Group

The Inclusion Group’s members include ISBA’s Head of Media, Bobi Carley, the IPA’s Associate Director, Diversity, Leila Siddiqi, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Managing Director, Sarah Jenkins, Channel 4’s CMO, Zaid Al-Qassab, 4creative’s Business Director, Jane English, GSK’s EMEA Media Director, Jerry Daykin, Creative Equal’s Founder and CEO, Ali Hanan and Sharon Lloyd Barnes, Commercial Director of the Advertising Association. It will meet monthly and its focus will be to ensure there is the widest possible industry response by bringing together the many initiatives that exist into a clear, collective effort. The group also plan to track interest and interaction in the schemes to help inform an overall sense of progress and change as the industry recovers from the Coronavirus crisis.

Promoting the role and rights of responsible advertising

This focus on inclusion is a key new strand of work in the Advertising Association’s strategy as it seeks to deliver its new mission: to promote the role and rights of responsible advertising and its value to people, society, businesses and the economy. The association and its partners plans to proactively promote and direct all in the industry towards the hub as a central bank of information and guidance. Plans also include a new creative campaign to build awareness of the hub over the coming months.

Business Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “As a previous business owner, I know that only by drawing on a diverse talent pool can businesses truly reach their full potential. This group is an excellent initiative to drive forward diversity and inclusion within the advertising industry, and I applaud the Advertising Association for their work.”

Kathryn Jacob, Chair, Inclusion Group and CEO, Pearl & Dean, said: “I am delighted to be part of this group and to work together to create a greater knowledge of the many impressive work strands taking place across the industry. The success of UK advertising is built on our talent and it is vital that we nurture and access the widest pool of talent possible, as we know this always leads to the best work. Addressing our diversity and inclusion will enhance our reputation as a global hub for advertising and better answer the need for us to reflect the society we serve.”

Leila Siddiqi, Associate Director, Diversity, the IPA, said: “The IPA has been committed to improving and promoting diversity and inclusion within advertising agencies, both in terms of the make-up of the agencies and the creative work they produce. We believe this agenda lends itself well to collaboration between agencies, brands and media owners and have high hopes for this new partnership to bring together the individual pockets of good work towards a shared goal of equality for all.”

Bobi Carley, Head of Media, ISBA, said: “ISBA is working with our network of brands to drive representation of modern society in both media/creative output and marketing communications. We are delighted to be working together with the AA, the IPA and other industry bodies to ensure this is an industry wide initiative that drives tangible, positive change.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said: “Minister Nadhim Zahawi delivered an inspirational speech at LEAD this year when he asked our industry to do more to tackle the issue of diversity and inclusion in our workforce. We have long known that great creativity is integrally linked to great diversity of thinking and experience and we must do everything we can to build the world’s most diverse workforce. It is central to our future as a world-class advertising hub and we urge all employers to use the hub, both as a resource, but also as a showcase to share the work they are doing in this area.”

UK Advertising Needs You features resources for employers and individuals from initiatives such as BAME2020, Creative Equals and Brixton Finishing School, covering backgrounds including neuro-diversity, disability, age, gender and racial diversity. In addition, the Inclusion Group’s members will be available to speak about UK Advertising Needs You at key industry events.

Anybody interested in the industry’s work around Inclusion should contact the Advertising Association at and they can keep up to date on progress of UK Advertising Needs You on the Advertising Association’s website.

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