Once a year the UK Advertising Association asks British advertising – its agencies, brand-owners and commercial media – to stop competing for just a single morning and work together to shape the role, rights and responsibilities of advertising.
Since we're still a part of the British Empire, B&T likes to syphon off the resources of Dear Old Blighty every now and then to see what we can learn from our Colonial Masters. Here, Tim Lefroy, the UK's Advertising Association’s chief executive, explores the industry’s hottest topics to be explored at LEAD 2015.
From a standing start, LEAD has become a permanent fixture on the advertising calendar, bringing over 300 business leaders together to debate advertising’s challenges. In 2012, it was the launch pad for Deloitte’s ground-breaking Advertising Pays report, putting our collective impact on UK GDP at over £100 billion. And it has filled a clear gap in the market – plenty of events cater to those wanting to make better advertisements, only LEAD caters to those interested in making advertising better. Better understood, better valued, better recognised.
But with every industry gathering there’s a risk: that things get a bit too cosy; that we indulge in a little too much self-congratulation; that we skirt around the more difficult questions.
In 2015, we won’t allow that to happen. In fact, I believe the conversation will be the toughest yet. Here’s why.
Advertising has much to offer – those Deloitte figures are impressive and it helps make the stuff we buy better and very often cheaper. In the process, advertising funds the digital world, our creative industries, journalism and much more.
But we’re in the midst of a huge shift. Across technology, consumer expectations, economics, politics and business, the pace and scale of change is dramatic, and to secure those benefits and earn support, advertising – which has become so ubiquitous in our daily lives – must renegotiate its deal with the world out there.
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