IPA host debate on ethics of advertising

The IPA’s 44 Club are hosting a debate tonight entitled ‘Is advertising out of control?’, sparked by the questions raised in our report Think Of Me As Evil?.

Does advertising fuel consumerism or is consumerism just evolution? Join us on 20th February for a lively debate surrounding the social and cultural impacts of advertising on society.

Advertising is a form of communication that is used for the greater good of society, right!? Public service advertising has certainly proven to be an effective way to increase stroke awareness, promote energy saving and fight domestic violence for example, and yet the advertising industry is forever under threat as ad campaigns continue to push the boundaries between what’s acceptable and what’s not.

The ad industry should be held more accountable for its actions states the ‘Think of me as Evil?’report recently published by WWF-UK/Public Interest Research Centre. The report is aimed at opening up the key ethical debates in advertising. It suggests that the deeper impacts of advertising, particularly on social and cultural values, have not been called out and debated. But in the face of social, financial and environmental crises, the industry cannot bury its head in the sand on these issues any longer and must take on its responsibilities. As Avner Offer, Professor of Economic History at Oxford University put it, “despite its alarmist title, this is a careful evaluation of the costs and benefits of advertising. It makes a good case, on economic, social, and cultural grounds, for respite from the all-pervasive advocacy of consumerism.”

On 20th February at the IPA, Jon Alexander, co-author of the report; Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather UK; Guy Champniss, ex advisor to CEO of Havas and to World Business Council on Sustainable Development, and author of Brand Valuedand Jamie Whyte, Head of Research and Publishing at Oliver Wyman and ex philosophy lecturer at Cambridge University will battle it out on stage at a 44 Club event to answer the queston: Do the ill-effects of advertising outweigh the benefits? The panel will also touch on subjects such as, does advertising merely redistribute consumption? Is it simply a mirror of cultural values and one that enhances choice?

The event will start at 6.00pm with a drinks reception. The debate will begin at 6.30pm, followed by Q&A. The event will close at 8.00pm.

Cost: £24 (£20 plus £4 VAT) for members, £48 (£40 plus £8 VAT) for non-members

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