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The IPA is the professional body for advertising,
media and marketing communications agencies in the United Kingdom.

Our role is two-fold: to provide essential core support services to our 300 agency members who are key players in the UK’s £16.7bn advertising, media and marketing communications industry; and to act as the industry spokesman.

Our core services cover a number of advisory services: from commercials production to all aspects of agency management. Members also have free access to our legal team; free access to a wealth of online information through our insight team; and access to the industry’s media research contracts, including our own TouchPoints. We also offer bespoke agency training and qualifications.

We also run three award schemes. The most well known is the IPA Effectiveness Awards which demonstrates how agencies, and their clients, have measured marketing payback. This scheme is widely recognised as the most rigorous effectiveness awards scheme in the world. We also run schemes to showcase creativity in healthcare (Best of Health Awards) and to highlight online media owner servicing levels (MOAs).

In promoting the value of agencies, our aim is to influence the wider business, social and regulatory worlds so that our members can thrive and prosper. This means protecting their interests and promoting the advertising sector as a force for good in society, and as a driver of growth in the broader context of the economy.

From our offices in 44 Belgrave Square, London SW1, we also work in close collaboration with other advertising-related trade bodies. In particular, with the AA and ISBA in the UK; and with the EACA, CAA, TCC and 4A’s on an international basis.

We also run programmes outside of London from our offices in the North and Scotland.

How we work

Day to day, each department of the IPA manages a key aspect of the business: from research to creative, production to media. Each works with the support of one, or more, of our 35 working practitioner groups who, between them, help to develop the IPA’s thinking and policies for all aspects of the business.

IPA work can cover: agency-specific lobbying positions, a variety of different types of negotiations (eg Union or Government or Advertiser or Supplier), guidance notes and industry-specific publications, award schemes and events, and overseas missions to mature, developing or emerging markets.

The IPA also has an elected body, the IPA Council, which is chaired by the IPA President and which is responsible for the IPA’s overall strategy and direction.

IPA Policy on charitable giving

The IPA supports two charities: NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society) and HAT (History of Advertising Trust).


History of the IPA

The IPA was established in 1917 in response from a request from the Government of the day to help with their recruitment and propaganda efforts. Since that time, the benefits of having a collective body to discuss issues of the day has never lost its appeal.

Even though the IPA today is a very different organisation with its primary focus on individual members needs, it is still on call to any Member of the Houses of Parliament when advice is needed on a particular communication challenge. The history of the IPA shows there have been many occasions since 1917 when this has happened, both through our work, the AA and on individual basis. Rory Sutherland's Behavioural Economics programme is a good example.

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