The economic and moral role of advertising: Regulators, agencies, clients and media owners at AA Lead 2013

Joseph Clift

What's the value of advertising? This wide-ranging but very important issue was tackled from many different angles at Lead 2013, a London conference organised by the UK Advertising Association.

Speakers variously offered econometric analysis that attempted to quantify advertising's contribution to the British economy, client and media owner case studies showing how marketing spend can boost business results, and, perhaps most unusually, a debate on whether or not advertising is itself intrinsically morally good – or bad.

Advertising and society

Advertising has its fair share of detractors. But these detractors are not often invited to ad industry conferences. An exception was made at Lead 2013 with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, a Church of England vicar and social commentator, who had some hard words for an audience overwhelmingly made up of c-suite client- and agency-side marketers.