ISBA Director General's Report

04 July 2017
Insights from Phil Smith on ISBA's activities over the past six months.

Update from Phil Smith delivered at ISBA's Annual Lunch

ISBA's Annual Lunch, taking place on 04 July provided the perfect opportunity to meet members and friends in an informal environment. It also provided an opportunity to provide and update on what ISBA has been doing in the six months since my appointment, and as such here is an overview of what I shared with the 400+ attendees at the lunch. 

  • We have created a manifesto which was launched at our Annual Conference in March. At its heart is the objective of helping create a media marketplace that is transparent, accountable and responsible, which works for advertisers, while modernising ISBA itself.
  • We have constructively challenged Google on brand safety, working with the team in the UK and the US, ensuring that they understand the importance of the issue to members and the scale of the impact it has. Our constructive engagement contributed to significant and more rapid movement on Google’s part towards greater accountability. ISBA’s response to the issue raised our profile in trade and national media, with press, radio and TV coverage.
  • We have begun to work with Facebook on challenges from members on measurement, verification and brand safety.
  • We have built a relationship with the Cabinet Office, helping to shape its position on media transparency and brand safety and we are now in active discussions with the Cabinet Office team to deliver training in programmatic and digital marketing for senior marketers and more operational staff across relevant central government departments and agencies.
  • We have continued to share our media services framework with members and other interested parties. This award winning, internationally recognised template is helping dozens of brands recalibrate its relationships with their agencies, ensuring greater transparency and better safeguards around brand safety. We have just kicked off a review of the framework and will update it and the accompanying guidance notes to ensure it is fit for purpose in the fast changing environment in which we operate. Find out more here >
  • With the IPA, we have launched a push for independently audited, cross-channel, cross-platform audience measurement. With the encouragement of many members, we plan to make this a major campaigning theme for the second half year. Find out more here >
  • We have continued our busy programme of events, with dozens of training sessions, webinars and networking events covering issues from programmatic to data protection. In addition, we also held the first of our CMO dinners, which featured Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg and UK MD Steve Hatch, with further scheduled throughout the year. 
  • I am very keen to understand more about our members, what you think and want from us, which is why are are commissioning baseline research from Britain Thinks, to understand members’ perceptions of ISBA.

More than anything else we have begun to create a collaborative, member-centred culture. ISBA is changing. We are changing in response to what our members want and in response to the ever-changing media and regulatory environment.

I am clear that my job, the job of ISBA, is to ensure that you, our members, are able to advertise responsibly in a safe, secure and diverse media landscape. We need your help to ensure we are getting it right, that we are reflecting your priorities and giving you the support and advice you need. Let me know how we can help. 

Phil Smith
Director General, ISBA

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