Opinion: Perspective - It's in advertising's interest to heed call to Action

Well, we would say that, wouldn't we? That advertising should be protected from further infringements on its freedom (page 20).

Of course we would say that. Not just because as a magazine representing the communications industry it's our duty to support that industry, but also because it is what we believe.

It's probably what you believe too. I can't imagine there are many people in this business that don't. Which makes it all the more surprising that collectively the industry (agencies, clients, media owners) has had such a quiet voice on the subject so far.

Part of the reason for the low-key defence is the failure of all our interested parties to work together to promote the benefits of advertising, its contribution to the economy and to business, to stress the punitive self-regulatory measures already in place, and to underline the role advertising can play in disseminating positive messages. We've already lost some crucial battles, we cannot afford to lose any more.

Now, as all ads for so-called junk food were withdrawn from children's airtime last weekend, as we begin the countdown to the launch of gambling ads which will give the lobbyists more ammo, as David Cameron launches an enquiry into "how can society protect children better from the commercialisation of childhood", and as Gordon Brown prepares to pick up where Blair left off on the subject of advertising to children, we need to work together to confidently promote advertising.

It's not easy to work out what to do. The danger is that we fall into the trap of verbiage, of partisan superficialities that simply provide another opening for the relentless, vocal and determined anti-advertising lobbyists. So we need to be clear, specific, energetic, with known goals which the entire industry works together to achieve. The alternative, of course, is further erosion of advertising freedoms.

Our new campaign, Action For Ads, is designed to be a rallying cry for the industry to work together on this issue. More than that, we want to get concrete support to ensure that there are no more infringements on advertising freedoms. Put your name to our campaign calling on the Government to recognise the importance of the industry to the UK economy and to resist further unnecessary restrictions to responsible advertising.

ISBA, the IPA and the Advertising Association have already put their names and lent their support to the campaign, which is a start. Now we need to keep the pressure and momentum up. To me it seems most logical that the AA (not Campaign) should be leading the charge and the early signs from Peta Buscombe's office are that she is up for the fight. It is imperative that the rest of the industry gets behind her.

So, yes, of course the advertising industry "would say that", but it hasn't. Not concertedly, not vocally. Say it now: you'll find our online petition at brandrepublic.com/campaign.

News that Paul Bainsfair is leaving TBWA will sadden some in the industry who have worked with the man, know fondly as "El Presidente" or "The Chairman". But there will be plenty of younger bloods for whom Bainsfair represents little more than a patchy past couple of years for the London agency.

There's no doubt that Bainsfair has had a long and successful career, through Saatchi & Saatchi, Bainsfair Sharkey Trott, the messy GGT\TBWA\Simons Palmer\BST bunfight and from all of that turning TBWA, for a time, into one of the best agencies in London.

London, it's fair to say, needs some new energy and firepower. And already the industry rumour mill is grinding out names as his potential successor. TBWA's international president, Keith Smith, says Bainsfair leaves big shoes to fill. At a time when there are already several chief executive seats empty in London, those shoes look bigger than ever.