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IPA President Vaz heralds ad industry’s “resilience, positivity, courage and creativity” in New Year address

The UK advertising industry has shown “creativity, positivity, courage and creativity” in response to the twin shocks of Brexit and Covid-19, according to  IPA President Nigel Vaz.

In a stirring New Year address to members, delivered virtually yesterday, Vaz said: “It has been moving to see brands forge new kinds of connections with their customers and communities: to provide emotional support, to act as much-needed pillars of trust, to amplify support for NHS and key workers, and to communicate the new ways in which companies serve customer needs during times of crisis.

“It is time to recognise our industry – and more importantly the individuals within it – for the resilience, positivity, courage and creativity you have shown in the face of the COVID crisis and its impact on all our lives.”

Vaz also reinforced the importance his ‘Reimagine’ agenda, launched at the start of his two-year tenure in spring 2019, in which he called upon agencies to “reassess, reorient and renew.”

He said: “’Reimagine’ is about understanding what you do best, how those qualities must adapt in a changing world, and what we must transform in order to best partner with our clients for growth. If ever there were a time to focus on making that change, it is now: we owe it to our clients, our agencies and our people.”

Vaz highlighted various IPA initiatives from the past couple of years, including:

  • New thought leadership on the future of clients and agencies through the ‘Future of Brand and Agency Relationships’ report.
  • The delivery of the IPA MBA programme with the LSE – the MBA Essentials Online Certificate.
  • A bespoke version of the IPA’s Global Foundation Certificate (bespoke GFC) in China. (upcoming).
  • The launch of an Effectiveness Accreditation programme (upcoming).
  • Joining forces with the AA and ISBA to present the first ever tripartite industry conference, RESET. The RESET conference will take place on January 28th.
  • The IPA’s annual Agency Census, to be published in spring, when we expect the full extent of the effect of COVID on the make-up of the industry to reveal itself.

In summing up, Vaz called upon the results of the latest IPA Bellwether Report, published today which points to green shoots for our industry and wider society, fuelled by the vaccination programme.

He said: “Ours is an industry full of optimists and believers. And as we look forward to the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and immunisation programmes nationwide and globally, we look forward too, to what the future may bring. I applaud you all again for having got this far – for enduring and adapting under COVID. It has been a visceral reminder of our shared humanity but also of our perseverance and ingenuity.”

You can watch the full speech on the IPA website.