Most agencies from all of the big six agency groups, the big commercial broadcasters and some of the biggest global tech giants are among the companies taking part in the UK ad industry’s first “All In” census on Wednesday (10 March).
WPP, the UK’s biggest agency group, and Haymarket, the owner of Campaign and PR Week, are among the latest to support the census, which is being run jointly by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA and administered independently by Kantar.
Company leaders are sending an online link to their employees who will answer a series of questions on an anonymised basis on a range of topics, including gender, ethnicity, salary and social background.
The organisers said “hundreds” of companies are taking part on the day.
Asda, British Airways, Channel 4, Dentsu, Facebook, Google, GSK, Havas, Hearst, ITV, McCann Worldgroup, NatWest, News UK, Omnicom Media, P&G UK, Publicis Groupe, Sky Media, Specsavers, Spotify, The Guardian, Tik Tok and Tui are among those backing the census.
All UK advertising and marketing services professionals are invited to take part, even if their company’s management has not announced its participation.
The results will be published only at an industry-wide level.
Some leaders have been vocal in support of the industry census after years of slow progress when it comes to improving diversity, equity and inclusion at the highest levels of UK advertising – a sector that generates close to £25bn in annual expenditure before the pandemic.
Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4, said: “As leaders it’s our collective responsibility to ask our teams to complete the All In census today because we can only make progress on diversity and inclusion if we measure it – and getting a full picture of where we currently stand is critical to making positive and lasting change.”
Euan Jarvie, chief executive of Dentsu International in the UK and Ireland, said the census will help to “understand” the current demographic state of the industry and “ensure greater accountability for the programmes and initiatives that we develop to drive positive change”.
Annette King, chief executive of Publicis Groupe UK, said: “As an industry and as a business, we need to far better represent people from all backgrounds. The All In census is an important step forward for the advertising industry.”
She added she was “looking forward to scrutinising the results and adapting and improving our strategy in line with the findings”.
Caroline Dinenage, creative industries minister, gave the government’s backing.
“It is vital that our creative industries reflect the diversity of their audiences and provide an inclusive environment for our world-leading talent to work. I’d like to encourage everyone across the advertising industry to take a moment to participate in this important initiative,” Dinenage said.
Sharon Lloyd Barnes, commercial director of the Advertising Association and member of the cross-industry Inclusion Working Group, which is running the census, said “the response to All In has been incredible” since its launch at the end of January.
“It reflects the industry’s commitment to inclusion and diversity and an understanding that we need to work together to create the inclusive workplace we all want,” she said.
Leila Siddiqi, associate director, diversity of the IPA, said: “Our ambition with today’s All In Census is to create a single source survey on diversity and inclusion across all UK advertising and marketing services professionals.
“For the first time, we will have data on certain strands in the D&I spectrum which we don’t have much data around currently – such as disabilities, sexual orientation and social mobility.
“We urge you to encourage your teams and colleagues to join in today, as the accuracy of this data depends on how many of you are All In.”
Find out about how to take part in the census here: https://adassoc.org.uk/all-in/