Does the Advertising Industry Need a Brand-Building Exercise?

New York, NY – April 4, 2013 – The 4A’s is challenging the industry it represents to come up with a big creative idea that promotes the advertising industry to a broader audience.

As such, the 4A’s has put out a call for entries to the 4A’s TruthBrief Competition in which the winner will be announced at Cannes in June.

The idea for the competition was borne out of findings in a study, “The Truth About Advertising,” produced by the 4A’s and IPG’s McCann Truth Central along with Momentum, which revealed that consumers have a more positive view of the advertising industry than practitioners of advertising have.

Presented last month at the 4A’s Transformation 2013 conference in New Orleans, the study found that 69 percent of consumers think advertising can change the world for the better, yet 70 percent of the industry believes the best days of advertising are in the past.

Another key finding of the study was that 79 percent of people who work in advertising believe the industry is better at burnishing client brands than that of its own industry.

4A’s President and CEO Nancy Hill said the study was an eye opener. “We need to build up equity in our industry and show our colleagues and the outside world that we believe advertising is a worthwhile profession,” Hill declared.

All submissions and questions can be directed to The competition is open to industry professionals.

The entry deadline is May 15, and the 4A’s will underwrite the production of all materials that will be provided in a toolkit.

Here is The Brief:

  • Problem: The advertising industry is too insular and this affects how its members view themselves, how the world views the industry and its ability to attract new talent.
  • Target Audience: The industry operates in a B2B model (i.e. trying to attract clients and impress other members of the industry) therefore it needs to incorporate a B2C model to attract new talent.
  • What Should People Think: Advertising is the #1 place to be creative and creates 15 percent of the nation’s jobs.
  • Tone: Honest, inclusive and proud.
  • Media: The idea can live on any channel and run in any market.

For more about the “Truth About Advertising” study, click here.

Methodology for The Truth About Advertising U.S. Research Study
The Truth About Advertising is a new online research study based on a quantitative survey of 1,000 consumers and nearly 500 advertising agency employees across the U.S. and video interviews with industry experts and consumers. The data for the 1,000 person quantitative survey was collected by Toluna on behalf of McCann Truth Central and was representative in terms of age, gender and ethnicity of consumers in the U.S. McCann was responsible for survey design and data analysis. Toluna is one of the world’s leading online panel and survey-technology providers and provides a comprehensive proven, scalable solution that enables companies to answer questions of a target audience quickly and efficiently.

The advertising agency employee survey was sent to the 4As membership database and IPG companies in the U.S. with requests to share with non-network advertising colleagues. Advertising professionals in the video interviews were representative in terms of age, experience, gender, ethnicity and departmental expertise. Agencies that participated in the interviews include McKinney, TBWA/Chiat Day, R/GA, Group M and McCann Worldgroup. Man on the Street interviewees were selected randomly on Madison Avenue.

About the 4A’s
The 4A’s is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. Its membership comprises virtually all of the large, multinational agencies and hundreds of small and mid-sized agencies from across the country. The 1,200 member agency offices served by the 4A’s employ 65,000 people; offer a wide range of marketing communications services, and place 80 percent of all national advertising. The management-oriented association founded in 1917 helps its members build their businesses, and acts as the industry’s spokesperson with government, media and the public sector. For more information, visit the 4A’s website at

About McCann
Worldgroup McCann Worldgroup is a leading global marketing company with 23,000 employees in more than 120 countries comprising McCann Erickson (advertising), MRM (digital marketing/relationship management), Momentum (event marketing/promotion), McCann Health (professional/dtc communications), CRAFT (global adaptation and production), UM (media management), Weber Shandwick (public relations) and FutureBrand (consulting/design). McCann Worldgroup’s blue-chip global client list includes American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Coca-Cola, General Motors, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, MasterCard, Maybelline, Nestle and Unilever.