• 29 November 2017

    Over the past 12 months, the production industry has been rocked by serious claims regarding how production contracts are managed and granted by some agencies.

    At the heart of the debate is a clear and relevant concern relating to agencies who are responsible for managing bid processes where their in-house production facility is also bidding.

    The issue has received significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic, with investigations by US Department of Justice and challenges from the APA in the UK highlighting the gravity of the situation.


    The fallout has resulted in advertisers and the industry at large questioning a number of aspects of the competitive bidding process, namely:

    • Bid Rigging: The key question in the US is whether agencies are forcing third parties to supply fraudulent/inflated bids, known as bid rigging
    • Information misuse to undercut bids: In the UK, the Advertising Producers Association (APA) have called out the practice of agencies are passing on information from genuine bids to their in-house facility to prepare a cheaper bid
    • Fairness: Independent production companies say it is unfair for the agency responsible for the managing the bid process if their in-house production facility is going to be one of the competitive bids received
    • Transparency: Transparency around the process in dispute

    While the issue has yet to be resolved, what is clear is the need for more relevant and actionable information.

    With that in mind, we have been working closely with our members and producers to understand the issues and provide a platform for both discussion and solutions.

    Following a recent ISBA event dedicated to the competitive bidding process, we have produced new guidance, that combines insights from advertisers, producers and agencies and is designed to:

    • Outline the issues and challenges and provide a balanced view of the situation
    • Provide potential solutions and advice for clients
    • Equip members with the information required to have knowledgeable dialogue with their agencies

    The guide is available for all ISBA members. Contact us now for your copy:

    Request > 

    For more information on this issue, please contact Traci Dunne.

  • 26 October 2017

    Following years of planning, it has finally come to this: just over 200 days to prepare and ensure your organisation is ready for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    Coming into effect on 25 May 2018, the new regulation will force all organisations to make significant changes to how they collect, process and store consumer data. Given the industry’s reliance on data, and the overwhelming fines for breaches, compliance is the only option for any company offering goods or services to EU consumers.

    Despite this, the GDPR shouldn’t be regarded as another onerous chore. Rather than aiming for the minimum level of compliance, aim for the gold standard and use the process as an opportunity to get closer to your consumers.  

    So, with just six months left to go, what can and should advertisers be doing to ensure they don’t fall foul of the new rules.

    Last week, over 90 members packed into ISBA HQ to hear how global organisations such as Google, GroupM, AppNexus and PwC are working towards compliance, both internally and with their clients. We also heard from James Snook, Deputy Director, Data Protection Policy at DCMS, plus while Harpreet Thandi of Ferrero and Jonny Maitipe of Nationwide provided insights from an advertisers perspective.

    Insights and Actions from the Event:

    Make use of available tools:

    There are a number of tools available online to help organisations prepare and ensure their data is adequately protected.

    • Google Privacy Tools: Amanda Storey, Head of Retail, Travel and Data at Google, highlighted the suite of privacy tools available from the tech giant, including controls to allow companies to choose what data they share and how it is protected. These controls are available for both business and consumers.
    • Guidance: While there have been calls for further guidance, there are a number of excellent guides already available for ISBA members to access, including:
      •  5 Things every brand owner should know about the GDPR, WFA – available on request.
      •  The Data Protection Network’s GDPR guidance, which ISBA and the DMA contributed to – available on request.

    Ensure your contracts are GDPR ready:

    ISBA will be re-launching our Creative Services Contract later this year. The updated versions will be amended to include new clauses related to the GDPR and will ensure all relevant services are fully compliant. For more information on this or any aspect of your contracts, please contact Debbie Morrison

    Google has also planned to roll out new contracts relating to GDPR, making their terms consistent across products.

    Questions to ask your vendor:

    The role of technology cannot be underestimated and the tools you select will play a crucial role in determining whether you remain compliant or risk breaching the rules. With that in mind, six key questions were outlined at the event at all brands should be asking of their technology vendors:

    1. 1. What personal data do you process? How? Why? How do you minimise use of it?
    2.  2. Are you a Processor or a Controller? (See the Consultation on GDPR Guidance on contracts and liabilities between controllers and processors, which ISBA responded to.)
    3. 3. Where you are classified as a controller, on what legal basis are you processing data?
    4. 4. But what if consent is required? How are you prepared to handle consent?
    5. 5. How are you managing data subject rights?
    6. 6. How do you handle security and international transfers?

    Stay on top of Profiling Issues:

    On the issue of profiling, members can keep track of developments by tracking the opinions of the EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.

    Review the Data Protection Bill:

    During his keynote, James Snook, Deputy Director, Data Protection Policy, DCMS, discussed the Data Protection Bill, which confirms a new legal framework for GDPR to ensure that we are aligned with the Regulation in the UK. Further information about the DPB can be found here, however, if you have any specific questions regarding the bill that you would like to raise directly with Mr Snook and the DCMS, please contact me.

    Next Steps

    ISBA will be following up with a further GDPR event (February 2018, details TBC), by which time Google will have provided more GDPR tools and Google will have rolled out new contracts relating to GDPR. The ICO should, by then, have published GDPR Guidance on Accountability and Consent.

    For more information on any of the above, please contact me.

    David Ellison
    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA

    Additional Resources

    Additional resources on the GDPR can be found here.

    Other areas of interest raised during ISBAs GDPR event include:

    The full suite of Google’s Privacy tools for both business and consumers:


    Google’s use of Cookies in Advertising: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/

    View AppNexus' presentations slides here.

  • 17 October 2017

    Today saw the release of 'Advertising Pays: World Class Talent, World Class Advertising' a new report from the Advertising Association.

    The report, created in partnership with LinkedIn, highlights just how important a diverse international workforce is for the UK's advertising and marketing industry. Using insights from a pool of 328,000 LinkedIn members working in the UK sector, it provides a detailed account of how 'international talent plays a pivotal role in the UK’s creative success, but also that the UK is a key source of talent for other advertising hubs worldwide'.

    The UK's creative crown in jeopardy?

    Given the uncertainty around Brexit and how it will be implemented, it is little surprise that many within the industry are concerned about how it will impact the ability to access international talent. As such, the Advertising Association is warning that 'the UK’s creative crown is in jeopardy', calling out the fact that the: proportion of the current advertising and marketing workforce in London that has migrated here from abroad in the last 12 months is three times higher than the corresponding figure in New York; and also higher than in Paris and Amsterdam. More than a third of this talent comes from within the EU, with many others arriving from the United States and Australia.

    Looking beyond London

    London has long been a hub for advertising and marketing talent, but despite the fact that 6% of LinkedIn members in the London area work in the industry, 57% of the industry’s UK workforce is based outside of the capital, with Manchester as the largest of the city hubs. The UK is the number one source of international advertising and marketing talent in New York, Paris and Amsterdam and has provided more than a third of recent migrants to Sydney’s advertising sector.

    Chairman of the Advertising Association and CEO of adam&eveDDB James Murphy
    commented that the "UK ad industry is a world-leader because we’re open to the world. It will be catastrophic to the long-term success of the sector if we can’t access the right talent quickly and easily. Global brands want to work with the best talent and the UK has it. As an industry that delivers £120bn of GDP per year for the country, anything that knocks advertising will dent the economy.” Josh Graff, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, added “I have experienced first-hand what makes the UK such a creative powerhouse – the people. We’re a wonderfully diverse and international workforce that enables brands and their agencies to create campaigns which resonate across international, cultural and socio-economic boundaries. I hope that this report, informed by LinkedIn’s powerful data, can not only help employers make better decisions about their talent pipelines but that it will also inform policy makers and educators on what’s required to ensure the sector continues to thrive.”

    A Great Advert For Britain - championing access to global talent

    In an effort to protect the sector post-Brexit, the Advertising Association are also running the ‘A Great Advert for Britain’ campaign, which champions access to global talent and celebrates 'the immense contribution of international talent to the UK'.

    Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association said:
    “Our new report, informed by LinkedIn’s powerful dataset, highlights immigration as the most important area for Government support to maintain the UK’s position as the world’s leading global advertising hub and drive growth domestically. Our new campaign, ‘A Great Advert for Britain’, brings this important issue to life. We have been working closely with the relevant Government departments on measures to safeguard and promote UK advertising internationally, as well as stimulate further growth in the regions among SMEs. We will continue to make the case to Government for funding and
    support in these areas.”

    The full report is available to download here.

  • 28 September 2017

    Picture the scene, you’ve been working with your agency on a production. You’ve reached the point where the details (shoot date, location, specifications etc.) have all been agreed and you’re ready to push the button!

    Once the agency has been instructed to proceed, the wheels that have been set in motion may be apparent to many, but as has become clear, there are certain elements of the approval process that clients may not be aware of, specifically regarding what happens once approval has been given.

    Enter the PIBS Contract. Once a production partner has been selected, your agency will most likely complete and sign a Production Insurance Briefing Specification (PIBS) contract. But what is it and what does it mean for advertisers?

    PIBS has long been the industry standard production contract, sitting between the agency and the production facility, its main function is to agree the various details of the shoot including date; location; specifications; format and instructions regarding filming equipment; insurance and, importantly, the cancellation terms that will kick in should the client instruct the agency to cancel. 

    While cancellation provisions have always existed within the PIBS document and clients have always had to pay cancellation fees, the existing PIBS contract was unclear and ambiguous. A number of updates have recently been made to the terms that all advertisers need to be aware of, specifically where cancellations and the related fees are concerned.

    Although considered as standard within the industry, ISBA research suggests that 77% of our members are not aware of the PIBS contract, while over 80% do not believe those involved in the approval process are aware of the cost implications of cancelling a production.

    In light of this, and given the importance of the contract and the financial ramifications involved, below is a summary of key updates to the terms where cancellations are concerned:

    • The PIBS terms outline the cancellation payment provisions - cancellation fees are charged based on the amount in respect of services performed by the Production Company in the period between notice of cancellation and intended shoot date
    • Fees range from 25% (20+ days before the shoot) to 100% (if cancelled 10 days or less before the shoot date)
    • Clients will also be liable for Director and Producer's fees upon cancellation again in relation to the period between notice of cancellation and intended shoot date, and again range from 25% (for 20+ days) to 100% (if cancelled 10 days or less before the shoot)

    The updated PIBS Cancellation Policy is available to view here >  The updates now make it clear and transparent as to what cancellation fees clients are liable for and when they kick-in.

    Although not yet in place, now is the perfect opportunity to ensure you and anyone in the team involved in commissioning such projects are fully aware of the importance of a structured production approval process to ultimately avoid unnecessary production cancellations. 

    The new PIBS contract has yet to be launched officially. ISBA will provide a full update as to the official launch date once agreed and will advise you when the new terms kick in. You will also be able to request a copy of the full PIBS document once available.

    To add further weight to the importance of embedding a firm process, ISBA and the IPA have also amended the clauses relating to production and cancellation in the ISBA/IPA Creative Services Contract Templates.

    These have been updated to make it clear that it is the agency’s responsibility to advise their client in advance of any cancellation provisions contained in the PIBS or any other third-party contract. We have also inserted a guidance note outlining the responsibilities of each party (you can view the wording for the new clauses here) and we suggest you ensure your current contracts are reviewed and, if required, amended to include this wording as soon as is feasible. 

    ISBA will be re-launching the Creative Services contracts later this year, the updated versions will include this amendment and some new clauses related to GDPR compliance, but please do feel free to request a copy of the contract now which will contain the new cancellation clauses mentioned above with immediate effect.


    1. Firstly, talk to your agencies about the production process and specifically around approvals and cancellations, and review if necessary.
    2. Secondly, ensure that all who commission productions understand the process; the cancellation provisions and the consequences of cancellation.
    3. Ultimately, it is now more important than ever for clients to review and embed strict production approval process guidelines to ensure that everyone involved in the process is fully briefed.

    ISBA, the IPA and APA have issued joint industry guidance to provide further clarity on the responsibilities of each party within the approval process. View the guidance here >

    For more information on any of the above, please contact Traci Dunne

  • 19 September 2017

    Over the last 18 months, much of our time has been focused on helping members drive new standards of practice in media agency contracts and building member confidence that new terms can be agreed with both network and independent agencies. 

    The new Framework Media Services Contract template we launched in April 2016 was an initiative designed to enhance our members’ ability to trade on a transparent basis with their media agency partners. The terms enable further understanding of the digital ecosystem, ensure digital standards are discussed with the agency and that policy is set and enshrined in contracts. The template contract requires agencies to be clear on their role and responsibilities in handling the media bought and budgets managed on behalf of client’s.

    A recent review of how ISBA members are using the contract in practice has revealed some positive details that will boost the confidence of any advertiser looking to use the terms to inform their own media agency negotiations.

    Various myths have abounded since the contract was launched like ‘agencies belonging to networks will not sign up to these terms’ and ‘only small advertisers will use the contract’….well these myths have now been busted by our usage review!

    Our review revealed £6.1b worth of ISBA member media spend as having either already been renegotiated (27 organisations spending £1.67b already completed negotiations) or that will be renegotiated (18 companies with £4.5b spend) in the near future, the next 12 months. The review indicates that the terms are being adopted by some of the biggest advertisers.

    And furthermore it indicated that terms can be agreed with network agencies, the majority of the negotiations reported on were with agencies belonging to major networks, 96% of those who have negotiated new terms already, and 81% of those who plan to renegotiate in the near future.  So that’s two myths busted!

    As well as being used locally, the contract is being adapted to create terms that are international in scope and not just relevant in the UK; in 50% of cases, the terms had been used, by those who had already renegotiated, to help create contracts that were international in scope.  And two-thirds of those planning to use the terms in the future indicated that they were using them to create international terms or MSAs.

    Of course, not everything in negotiations was plain sailing and compromises had to be made in just under half of the cases reported on, but this is a scenario to be expected in any commercial contract negotiation.

    There were no surprises on areas of contention in the contract, the agency community pushing back on most clauses related to greater visibility and transparency. However, there were also a sizeable number agencies reported on who had no issues with these clauses.

    Our review of use of the ISBA framework media contract contains a great deal more insight for anyone interested in using the terms, including make-up of negotiating teams, whether external help was used, time taken to negotiate, contentious clauses, shared learnings and much more, if you’d like a copy and to understand more about how the contract can help you transform commercial relationships with your media agencies, do get in touch.

    Significant progress is being made by ISBA members in their conversations on enhancing contracts with their media agencies and your organisation too could be benefiting from more transparent better-managed terms.

    Don’t just take our word for it, listen to your peers: “The ISBA template media agency contract was a great checklist to ensure all aspects of the deal were covered.  It helped change the way our internal legal team approached the format of the contract and gave additional credibility to the procurement process” Procurement, £46m spend

    To request a copy of the review contact me.  

    Debbie Morrison
    Director of Consultancy & best Practice, ISBA

  • 08 September 2017

    Making on-boarding martech solutions easier - prepared by marketers for marketers

    One of the major challenges facing marketers is ensuring their organisation partners with the right people. When it comes to identifying and on-boarding tech suppliers, including ad servers, demand-side platforms and tag management systems, the number available and complexity of companies offering marketing technology solutions makes it that much more difficult, significantly drawing out the decision making process.

    So what's the solution? While there are many approaches, the marketing team at Barclays, an ISBA member, have created a simple checklist to provide the information required from your tech vendors. In fact, the document is so straightforward that it benefits both advertisers and tech vendors by reducing the review and sign up process.

    The document itself was designed to make the onboarding process more practical, with the brief being to employ the most innovative tech solutions, while minimising business risk.

    Working closely with their colleagues in legal, compliance, information policy, data privacy, risk, fraud and information security, the marketing team at Barclays have created a document that reflects the modern industry, ensuring all relevant questions were incorporated and reflecting current developments, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with provisions for data protection also included in the brief.

    Barclays have made the document available to all ISBA members and as more and more organisations use this document, the bar will be raised within the industry. The longer term aim is to for martech vendors to provide accurate detail at a higher level as standard practice.

    Special thanks to Barclays for making this document available to ISBA members and other groups, especially Nicola Shepherd, Head of Media, and David Joyson, Head of Search & Acquisition.

    To obtain your free copy of the guidance, please contact Jodie Knight.

    I would love to receive your feedback on the guidance.

    David Ellison
    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA davide@isba.org.uk

  • 01 August 2017

    Understanding the facets of any consumer or media journey can unleash a host of insights and ultimately lead to serious business opportunities. Such is the case for programmatic advertising, which has become one of the key areas of investment for advertisers.

    As the programmatic landscape continues to evolve, ISBA has been working closely with our members and the industry to gain a clear picture of the journey involved, giving us a real insight into both the challenges and opportunities that programmatic presents, all of which were highlighted at our recent Roundtable event.

    Featuring insights from our event partners and programmatic experts The Exchange Lab, plus Nationwide's Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media, Alex Bennett, the three hour event was packed with practical learnings for all stages of the programmatic journey.

    Some of the key insights to come from the session are outlined below and can be used to help guide you on your journey to programmatic excellence: 

    1. In-house Expertise: Ensure you have at least one programmatic expert on the team. Be it a marketer or data analyst, your in-house expert should champion the cause, get your colleagues involved, avoid silos and most importantly, get that much needed buy in from the C-Suite. Don’t expect a quick win however. To get C-Suite on side, clearly articulate the commercial benefits and be prepared to tackle internal discussions that will bring about long term changes that establish strategy. 
    2. Vendor Selection: When it comes to choosing the right vendor, don’t be afraid to trial before you buy. Talk to and test as many possible partners as possible and be sure to ask questions and outline any requirements relevant to your organisation, KPIs and long-term goals. Note that vendor performance can vary by location, success in one market does not guarantee success in others.
    3. Owning your data: It has never been more important to know how your data is being used and what happens to it. Outline your data priorities from the get-go and be sure to ask vendors what happens to your first party data at the end of the relationship. Ensure that you have logins to their systems to discover where your ads are being served and make sure you have the right contractual terms in place to allow for this to happen.
    4. Creative Strategy: A weakness with programmatic is creative strategy. Merging dynamic creative with segments is still proving to be a challenge. Using sequential messages will make your communication more relevant. Massive disruption within creative is anticipated, with the younger creative shops leading the charge in trying to sync and integrate with programmatic.
    5. Get the whole team on your side: Your programmatic strategy needs to be understood by all areas of the business. Be sure to bring together different teams internally to be clear on how it will impact the organisation and ensure a consistent joined-up approach across different customer touch points/channels. As procurement teams become more and more involved in media buying, they need to be involved early on to ensure they are aware of the real value of programmatic, rather than just analysing the price.
    6. Programmatic as a Branding Tool: Although traditionally focused on direct response, advertisers are now turning to programmatic to build their brands. However, issues surrounding measurement and value could potentially hinder obtaining the necessary budget.
    7. The Targeting Trap: Programmatic advertising allows you to target down to micro-levels, but this may not necessarily be a wise approach. Try to avoid hyper-targeting and think about moving to a more ‘coincidental’ approach, which should make your consumers feel less like they are under surveillance!
    8. To in-house or not? Making the move from in-house expert to full on in-house programmatic capability is certainly an option. When thinking about whether to fully embrace in-house, think about your overall goals, your strategy and how to ensure that in-house staff are constantly motivated and have access to the latest developments to avoid stagnation. In-house comes in many forms (partial or complete) and there is no 'one size fits all' approach. There are many challenges including budget, knowledge, capability and the ability to hire and retain talent.
    9. Viewability: is 100% viewability a reality? Is it even required? Be clear on your KPIs and set a realistic interpretation of how viewability is to align with them and set your trading terms accordingly. Be sure to discuss what impact your expectations will have on costs. Viewability is an important metric but reviewing it in isolation is a false economy and can lead to you optimising away from your goals.
    10. Consent: No discussion these days is complete without referencing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Tedious? Perhaps. Vital? Most certainly. The impending regulation must inform your discussions, particularly when it comes to gaining consent. Failure to do so could not only result in hefty fines, but could ultimately result in the loss of some of your customers.
    With all of that in mind, don’t expect overnight success using programmatic. Have a realistic picture of success and remember to test, learn and refine! Implement regular milestones to evaluate success across the various steps of your programmatic journey.


    For more information on how The Exchange Lab can assist you and help deliver your programmatic strategy, please visit their website


    If you have any concerns or questions at any stage, ISBA is happy to discuss the realities of programmatic advertising with you and the team, so do get in touch with me


    David Ellison

    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA
  • 11 July 2017

    Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues to dominate most of the headlines, the impending EU regulation on ePrivacy (ePR) deserves just as much attention given the impact it will have on the industry. 

    Replacing an earlier directive (implemented in 2002), the Regulation aims to:

    • Ensure privacy across all electronic communications platforms
    • Introduce simpler rules on cookies 
    • Increase transparency on direct marketing. 

    ISBA is actively working with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) ePrivacy Task Force to ensure that the industry is fully briefed and aligned with the position we have outlined with the WFA, one that works to protect advertisers’ rights online, including the collection of browsing data used for targeting online advertising.

    Key issues for advertisers: 



    Over the last five years ISBA has been working with the ICO and our members on events and guidance to ensure compliance with the GDPR, due to be implemented in May 2018. ISBA believes that user testing is required to define how, where and when consent should be gathered to give consumers transparency, choice and control over their personal data.

    Acknowledging the need for the Regulation to develop principles on consent, the new laws need to incorporate new technology and be future-proofed to ensure that they are relevant in a few years’ time. The best methods to ask for consent will vary depending on the context – prescriptive regulation can’t allow for this. ePR is currently too prescriptive, as it mandates:

    How consent should be gathered - via software settings
    • When consent should be gathered - during installation

    Currently, there is no robust evidence available to confirm that this is an effective way of informing users about their privacy and enabling them to make an objective decision. Research from KPMG shows that only 26% of UK users read the privacy policy when entering a website.

    ISBA believes that advertisers are best placed to determine the most effective methods to gain consent from users, within the rules confirmed by GDPR. There are a number of ways to achieve this, including: 

    • Working with experts in user experience (UX), web design, e-commerce analysis and online behaviour
    • Methods for gathering consent must be tested on users in real-life situations to avoid consent becoming a ‘tick-box’ exercise, with users having little or no understanding of what they are actually consenting to.


      ISBA is requesting that these prescriptive requirements should be removed on browsers and other types of software to obtain consent during installation.

    ISBA wants to replace language which determines how, where and when consent should be obtained with a principle-based approach.



      Website analytics provide basic tools for website owners to understand whether or not their websites are performing effectively. Such information is needed to both ensure the website functions properly and enable owners to improve and enhance features for users. 

    Companies may outsource the technical elements of this analysis and tracking to third party companies with technical expertise. For ISBA members, this often means agencies or other third party companies. The current wording of the ePR could prohibit website owners from engaging agencies and other third parties to undertake this work on their behalf.  


      ISBA will work with the WFA to press for the ePR to allow website owners to employ agencies and other third parties to carry out necessary analysis to ensure their sites run efficiently. 


      ISBA members, and the industry at large, have invested heavily to ensure compliance with the GDPR. Specifically, members are currently reviewing all of their data processing activities to determine which legal bases to apply in different situations. GDPR offers six legal bases for data processing, some of which require a detailed legal and risk-based analysis in order to determine which ones can be used. 

    This is an ongoing work-stream, which in many cases involves employing internal and external resources to assess internal data management structures. However, the draft proposal of the ePR only makes one of these legal bases available to companies: consent. Therefore companies may need to restart the process of assessing and applying the relevant legal bases to their data processing activities once an agreement is reached in the final ePR text. This could put the work being undertaken by ISBA members to prepare for GDPR at risk. Members could be left with only a couple of months to re-assess their data processing activities in order to ensure compliance. 


      ePR must be consistent with GDPR. ISBA recommends maintaining the same legal bases which appear within GDPR in ePR. 


    Although discussions regarding cookies being used for internet based advertising have dominated issues within ePR, our members are concerned that this could have unintentional consequences on other types of tracking which allow their websites to operate effectively and provide the kind of experience users’ demand.


      ePR should incorporate a broad spectrum of applicable cases for tracking, which may present different levels of risk to users’ fundamental rights. This risk-based approach is a basic component of GDPR and therefore needs to be applied to ePR. 


      ISBA supports the objective of enabling users to have transparency, choice and control over how information about them is used. ISBA believes that the notion of ‘value exchange’ goes with the definition of consent in GDPR - ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous’. The majority of people would prefer to use free services in exchange for seeing ads. Users should be made aware of this value exchange.


      ISBA would like to maintain the choice-based approach of the European Commission’s proposal. We believe that users should be able to make an active, informed choice about the collection of information stored on their devices.

    ISBA rejects moves to remove the need for users to make active decisions about the collection of their information.

    Next Steps:

    ISBA’s work in this area is being led by our Data Action Group. Our next meeting, taking place on 27 July will feature Catherine Armitage, Senior Manager, Public Affairs and Digital Governance Exchange at the WFA. Catherine leads their lobbying in Brussels and will provide an update for members on the latest developments and insights on the ePrivacy Regulation.

    If you are interested in becoming a member of this group and contributing to our thinking in this important area, please contact me.

    It is anticipated that the ePR might become law by 25 May 2018, when the GDPR will also become law. Find out more about the ePR here


    You may also be interested to know that guidance has been published on how and when marketers can engage with audiences using Legitimate Interest as a basis under the GDPR. The guidance has been produced by the Data Protection Network with the support of ISBA and our members and is available here


    David Ellison
    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA


  • 29 June 2017

    Recent studies have shown that young people are now spending more and more of their time online, rather than watching TV. While the desire for internet access has more than surpassed the need to look for the remote, the shift in platform preferences needed to be addressed from a regulatory point of view. 

    While existing BCAP codes governed how HFSS products were advertised on TV, they did not translate to the digital environment.

    All that is to change however, as on 01 July, the CAP Code on advertising food and soft drinks to children will be brought into line with existing rules on TV advertising. This now means that ads that ‘directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media’, be it print, cinema, or digital – and that includes social media and advergames. 

    As on TV, advertisements for HFSS products can no longer appear on children's media and cannot rely on licensed characters or celebrities popular with children to promote them, regardless of the platform used. 

    While generally welcomed by the industry, the ‘tough’ new rules do present a challenge for advertisers and as the Code comes into effect, here are some useful tools to help ensure you comply: 


    • Review ISBA’s teach-in session with CAP: watch as representatives from CAP outline the key aspects of the Code and the impacts for advertisers. Watch online here > 
    • HFSS products are classified using the Department of Health Nutrient Profiling Guide. To review the NP score for your product, and whether it is classified as HFSS, download the model.
    • ‘Children’s Media’: the new CAP Code states that in media where children account for more than 25% of the audience, ads for HFSS products are not permitted. A number of measures can be taken to ensure compliance, including data and analytics and where such insight is not available, other factors will be assessed. Find out more here >
    • CAP Resources: take advantage of CAP resources such as the Copy Advice Team, which provides free advice, to help identify any issues with concepts, imagery and/or copy. Find out more here >. A newly launched eLearning module is also available to provide insights on the key rules that apply to non-broadcast ads. Find out more here >
    • Further information relating to brand advertising and promotions can be found on the CAP website.
    • Review the CAP & BCAP Codes: links to the Codes, including a summary of the key aspects of the new non-broadcast rules can be found on the ISBA website


    As the advertisers’ representative on CAP, ISBA had significant input into the direction of the new rules, taking the concerns and needs of our members into account.

    We fully support the new rules, designed as a means to protect children and ensure that 'advertising regulation plays its part in tackling the public health challenges related to poor childhood diet and responds effectively to fundamental changes in the way children consumer media.' We will continue to ensure the needs and concerns of our members are met in all future developments.

    Key elements of the code for advertisers: 

    • Ads that directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media
    • Ads for HFSS products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience
    • Ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to use promotions, licensed characters and celebrities popular with children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote healthier options
    • The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS

  • 08 June 2017

    Have you ever wondered what keeps your marketing peers awake at night? How other organisations are approaching the marketing transformation that’s sweeping our industry? Or even how other CMOs are preparing for a future media ecosystem?

    ISBA sits in a privileged position, in a constant dialogue with and surveying the behaviours of the biggest brands in the country, this gives us a unique perspective on what’s exciting and worrying our marketers and enables us to track key trends and activities.

    This week we are thrilled to share some brand new insights from a tracking study, Media 2020 on which we partnered with MediaSense and IPSOS Connect. The study explores how ISBA members are organising themselves to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving media ecosystem.

    With over 260 senior marketers and media decision makers taking part, the report is one of the most comprehensive surveys on marketing change management to date and builds on trends we identified in a similar study in 2015.

    The report indicates that ISBA members are a progressive bunch, leading the way in reconfiguring themselves into more data driven, customer centric businesses.

    All interviewees agreed that organising resources around customers also means owning customer strategy and customer data. Over three quarters of respondents (78%) rate data analytics and data insights as a critical media capability (vs. 67% in 2015) and over half (54%) see data management as an in-house capability (up from 42% in 2015). 

    Marketers told us they felt empowered by data, that it enables them to be more accountable and drives more authority for marketing at board level. For all, insight from data, not the data itself, was absolutely crucial to driving growth of their organisation and controlling that customer data, allowing greater visibility of the customer journey, was critical.  

    In-sourcing data management activities, data modelling and data activation is increasingly common amongst brands as they build their confidence. This is having an interesting effect on agency relationships, with over half the respondents in the survey claiming they would seek strategic advice on data management not from their agency partners but from their own internal teams, or as one senior marketer put it:

    “As a result of the new insight performance teams, we have taken back strategic control of our brands from agencies”

    And this charge to in-house activities is being led by the c-suite, over two-thirds (68%) of directors agreed that marketers will do more in-house.  Amongst more data- driven businesses there is an imperative to bring in new specialist talent with distinct skill sets, especially around data science.

    Marketing is broadening its scope and taking control with the emergence of new super integrated marketing teams including data scientists, marketing scientists, analysts and engineers working seamlessly together to drive growth.  Agile ways of working are breaking down organisational silos.

    Agility of operating models is now a prerequisite, both internally and externally, in order to achieve this data driven, customer centric nirvana. Key requirements of new operating models highlighted were flexibility, adaptability, scalability and iterative thinking over rigid process.

    Agency partners are now expected to present more flexible, varied and agile models, to experiment and change as their client needs evolve BUT many felt agency models were not evolving quickly enough and are hampered by legacy structures and processes.  And in a watch out for the agency community, 62% of respondents said they will be using fewer agencies in the future.

    In essence this study affirms that marketing will continue on its road to transformation, many are already on the data delivery superhighway, but many more are yet to progress.  There is only one certainty in this current environment and that is that more change is to come,  a fact echoed by the 80% of respondents who indicated that further organisational change is required if they are going to develop and deliver dynamic creative.

    Get your copy of the full report

    Media 2020 is rich in insight and I have only touched on a tiny part of what we discovered here, for further insights you can request a copy of the report from me.  


    Debbie Morrison
    Director of Consultancy & Best Practice, ISBA