Advertising is Professional. No really, it is.

Advertising is Professional. No really, it is.

At Designate, we are proud to be members of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), the trade membership body that represents and promotes the advertising industry.

And this week, we are even more proud, and want to trumpet it a little bit, because on January 14th 2016, something quite remarkable happened. The IPA announced that it had been awarded Chartered status by the Privy Council.

To the casual observer, this could have a whiff of the ‘so what?’ factor about it. But to the agencies in all their many guises who hold themselves to the highest standards of professionalism, and who strive to add rigour, value, creativity, effectiveness and all-round economic success to the marketing and commercial process, this is something quite tangible.

Anyone who works in our industry and lives in our world will know that, to quote the much-missed genius David Bowie, “it ain’t easy”.

Proving our value, and at times justifying our existence gets harder every year, as businesses and their marketing departments become ever better versed in the mechanics and logistics of channels, platforms and production techniques.

Everyone who got a Mac for Christmas can badge themselves as ‘creative’ (and literally thousands do), and I would hazard a guess that there aren’t many marketing departments around today that don’t have someone doing digital or print design and production of some kind or another.  So it really is an important milestone for our ‘advertising industry’, which includes creative, digital, media and all sorts of agencies, to have the same sort of recognition and credibility as other professions such as the lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers… and marketers.

And it’s not just a badge. The learning, training and accreditation that the average IPA member agency needs to maintain as a condition of membership is considerable. The principle of Continuous Professional Development is entrenched in IPA agencies, and many thousands of employees undertake certified training courses to continuously raise standards across the industry. The IPA Effectiveness Award is probably the most rigorously judged award in the industry – in terms of actual commercial effectiveness. So, as  a member of the IPA, standards really are high.

Here’s hoping that together we can promote the true meaning and value of our newly bestowed status, and translate it into even more compelling arguments to clients, and all-round better, value-based relationships.

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