The trade body of choice for UK marketers
Established in 1900, ISBA has been championing the needs of UK advertisers for over a century. We represent more than 3,000 brands, across a broad range of business sectors. These include retail and e-commerce, financial services, fast moving consumer goods, travel and leisure, automotive and charity.
As the advertisers' voice in the industry, ISBA works on behalf of our members in a number of ways. Primarily, we are advocates for our members, providing the impetus and direction for positive change. Supporting this we offer unbiased advice and guidance and we work with members to strengthen their marketing teams’ capabilities. Find out more >
We champion the needs of marketers through advocacy and offer our members thought leadership, consultancy, a programme of capability and networking. We influence necessary change, speaking with one voice to all stakeholders including agencies, regulators, platform owners and government. Find out more about membership >
ISBA’s strength lies in its membership. The activities of our dedicated team are shaped by our governing bodies, which include our Council and Executive Committees, populated by senior representatives from ISBA member companies. Find out more >
Who else is a member?
ISBA is the sole representative body for advertisers in the UK. ISBA provides a voice for over 3,000 brands, ranging from the large to small and covering sectors as diverse as automotive, charities and food, right through to online retailers, pharmaceuticals and telecoms. View all of our current members below.
ISBA has been working for advertisers since 1891, when seven advertisers protesting about dubious newspaper circulation figures got together. They needed to know how many people were actually seeing the ads they paid for. The call was for “net sales”, not pulp circulation figures.
The Advertisers’ Protection Society (APS), the original name of ISBA, was formally established in 1900, making ISBA the oldest advertiser organisation in the world.
When the APS began publishing its net sales calculations, it ended up in court charged with libel. After winning the case and after decades of battling with publishers, ISBA founded the Audit Bureau of Circulations in 1931, heralding an era of independently audited media measurement which has continued to this day.
The APS is formally established
The APS becomes the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers
ISBA founds the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC)
ISBA helps launch the ICC Advertising Code of Standards
ISBA secures, for the first time, the screening of advertising in cinemas with the house lights down.
Together with the other bodies that make up the Advertising Association, ISBA helps form the Advertising Standards Authority to make self-regulation of the industry a reality.
ISBA is instrumental in encouraging the Government to extend the self-regulatory system to the broadcast arena.
Following the merger of Carlton and Grenada to form ITV, ISBA is fundamental in introducing Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) to stop ITV abusing its dominant position with advertisers.
ISBA launches a guide to social media, to address confusion among marketers about this new medium
ISBA launches the Media Services Framework to ensure members can negotiate better contracts with their media agencies
ISBA occupies a unique position in the marketing industry
To operate effectively, we work with a range of industry bodies and trade organisations, both in the UK and internationally.
See where ISBA sits within the industry and its role in the UK's system of self-regulation here >
Our formal relationships include:
ISBA is a founding member of the Advertising Association. The Advertising Association is the only organisation that brings together agencies, brands and media to combine strengths and seek consensus on the issues and opportunities that affect them. Through engagement and evidence-based debate, it aims to build trust and maximise the value of advertising for all concerned. Through our membership, we represent the view of the advertiser on advertising industry matters, including government policies and industry research.
ISBA represents advertisers on the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), sister organisations of the Advertising Standards Association, which are responsible for writing the Advertising Codes. We are able to use our leadership role in such bodies to set and promote high industry standards as well as a robust self-regulatory regime.
ISBA are members of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). The WFA is the only global organisation representing the common interests of marketers. It brings together the biggest markets and marketers worldwide, representing roughly 90% of all the global marketing communications spend, almost US$ 900 billion annually. Through our membership, we ensure UK advertisers have a voice on global issues and are able to take global learning and best practice to share with our members.
Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB)
BARB has been delivering the official viewing figures for UK television audiences since 1981. They commission research companies Ipsos MORI, Kantar Media and RSMB to collect data that represent the viewing behaviour of the UK’s 26 million TV households. ISBA sits on the BARB Board and is therefore consulted on decision making.
JICREG provides a transparently accountable currency for planning and buying advertising campaigns in local media. Each week around 600 users access the data electronically, running over 100,000 reports a year, as well as being used by all major publishers it is used by all the top 20 communication agencies in the UK. ISBA sits on the JICREG Board and is therefore consulted on decision making.
UKOM sets and governs the UK industry standard for online audience measurement. They are answerable to a wide range of stakeholders with different interests, many of them in common. ISBA sits on the UKOM Board and is therefore consulted on decision making.