- Ogilvy & Mather
UK advertising agency trade body the IPA (the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) is celebrating its centenary with a “Festival of British Advertising,” which also includes the a homage to the British ad industry’s “game changers” from the last 100 years.
The list of 47 people includes just six women. And everyone on the list is white.
In a press release, the IPA says it assembled a panel of industry experts to draw up a long list of candidates.
The IPA was responsible for picking out the final 47.
“Obviously it’s disappointing when you do an exercise like this and look at the names, as you spotted, it’s predominantly white men,” IPA director general Paul Bainsfair told Business Insider. “The only thing I can say is to look at the context of what we are doing, which is a retrospective of the last 100 years, it’s the process we went through. We assembled a big group of advertising practitioners to take a long view, who have been around a long time, to look through who had been the game changers who had made an outstanding contribution.”
The IPA describes the winners in a press release as the people whom it believes “have been mainly responsible for changing the industry, either as a leader, a creative, a strategist, or as an innovator.” They will be recognized at an exhibition held in the Old Truman Brewery in London from March 9 to March 12.
The expert panel that helped suggest entries for the “game changers” list comprised: IPA president Tom Knox; D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay; AMV.BBDO creative partner Rosie Arnold; Adam&Eve DDB founder and CEO James Murphy; Campaign global editor Claire Beale; BARB non-executive chairman Nigel Sharrocks; Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay; and IPA director general Bainsfair.
Some members of the the judging panel raised concerns that the list may be too male and white-heavy, Bainsfair said. He added the IPA had a “responsibility to reflect accurately, rather than using positive discrimination and rigging it.”
“The honest fact of the matter is that it reflects how dominated by men the ad industry has been for the last 100 years,” Bainsfair said.
That’s not to say the IPA has any intention of it staying that way.
Bainsfair pointed out that the IPA is now “working very much in the forefront” when it comes to pushing for greater diversity within the ad industry.
“I would love the numbers to be different,” Bainsfair said.
Since 2015, the IPA has encouraged its member agencies to contribute to a public league table listing the gender splits at their agencies by department and seniority, as well as the percentage of employees from non-white backgrounds. Last year, the IPA said that by 2020, it wants 40% of senior positions at UK ad agencies to be held by women and 15% of all people in leadership positions in the industry to be from “a non-white background.”
The IPA’s census figures show that there was a drop in the number of females holding executive management positions between 2015 and 2016 and only 12% of those employed by IPA member agencies were not white.
The Festival of British Advertising itself also consists of a session about “changing the portrayal of gender on screen” and a panel about “the future of storytelling in an ever-changing diverse society.”
When asked whether it would have been a better idea to create a list that looks at the game-changers of tomorrow, rather than celebrating a group of people who have likely received many other accolades in their storied careers, Bainsfair responded that the list was deliberately nostalgic and not designed to show the way forward.
“People will be interested in names like David Ogilvy, and Dave Trott, and John Hegarty. We all know the names, but the main free flow in the exhibition and footfall will be lots of advertising students who are learning about the business,” Bainsfair said.
Here’s the IPA’s full list of the advertising industry’s “game changers” from the past 100 years (females in bold):
- David Abbott Paul Arden John Bartle CBE Trevor Beattie Lord Bell Martin Boase Tony Brignull Sir Nigel Bogle Simon Broadbent Frank Budgen Jeremy Bullmore CBE Ann Burdus CBETim Delaney James Garrett Neil Godfrey Paul Green Sir John Hegarty Steve Henry Chris Ingram Stephen King Lord Leverhulme Sir Frank Lowe Marion LyonPatricia Mann OBEPeter Marsh Colin Millward Ray Morgan Jane NewmanDavid Ogilvy CBE Brian Palmer Sir Alan Parker CBE John Pearce Stanley Pollitt Lord Puttnam MT RaineyCharles Saatchi Lord Saatchi John Salmon Sir Ridley Scott Jeremy Sinclair CBE Sir Martin Sorrell Dave Trott Alan Waldie Christine WalkerJohn Webster Robin Wight Mike Yershon