MADRID: The Spanish advertising industry has launched a new campaign which aims to promote the social and economic relevance of the sector in a country hard hit by economic downturn.

A total of 31 associations and businesses have signed up to the ¡Publicidad, Si! (or Yes to Advertising!) campaign, which takes the novel approach of featuring two brands in one public message.

So, for example, in one spot the marketing director for Kia, the automaker, appears alongside an ad for Danone's Activia yogurt to explain how advertising guarantees brands like Danone an affordable, high-quality method of communication with their customers.

He goes on to assert that he believes so much in the value of advertising that he is able to appear in an ad for another brand to make his point.

The campaign consists of seven TV spots and four graphic billboards, each one highlighting a benefit offered by advertising.

Santiago Gramunt, general manager of Innocean Worldwide Spain and the campaign's creative lead, described the promotion as a world first. "We in the industry hope that the campaign will spark a debate in Spain about the role that the creativity industry can play and already plays in promoting growth and well-being," he declared.

His colleague Johan Fourie, chief operating officer of Innocean Worldwide Europe, said advertising played a crucial role in accelerating the growth of enterprise and new businesses, adding that leaders often overlooked the positive role played by the sector.

"We see first-hand how the industry drives innovation, stimulates competition and, most importantly of all during tough economic times, connects brands with its customers," he stated.

The organisers have established a set of ten key principles that articulate the values of advertising, including, in addition to the above economic factors, its role in sustaining the mass media, free information and entertainment as well as the diffusion of values and ideas about equality and social progress.

Data sourced from Publicidad Si ; additional content by Warc staff