UK advertising bodies have come together to combat sexual harassment

Tyrone Stewart

timeToA group of UK advertising bodies have teamed up to build on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements by addressing sexual harassment within the advertising and marketing industry.

The initiative, dubbed ‘timeTo’, has been launched by the Advertising Association (AA), NABS, and WACL, with ISBA and the IPA also pledging their support.

The first order of business for timeTo will be to conduct an industry-wide study – led by Karen Fraser from the AA’s think tank, Credos – to establish the current level of sexual harassment occurring within the sector.

Using the findings of this study, timeTo will at some point in the next six months put together a best-practice code of behaviour for all companies to implement.

“Our industry, like many others in the UK and around the world, is going through a critical reset in terms of behaviour change,” said Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association. “The Advertising Association exists to promote the role, rights and responsibilities of advertising and timeTo is about being clear about the behaviour standard expected of all people who work in advertising. This must happen to ensure our industry, which reflects and shapes the world around us, continues to be an economic and social force for good in the years ahead.”

The primary goal of the initiative is to completely eradicate sexual harassment from the industry in the future, but NABS will also be offering support to individuals that are the the victims of historical or current sexual harassment.

“This is an important partnership as we all believe no one should have to experience sexual harassment, anytime or anywhere,” said Diana Tickell, CEO of NABS “If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, contact NABS who can offer confidential advice and support on 0800 707 6607 or support@nabs.org.uk”

The launch of the initiative has coincided with the Time's Up movement launching its own advertising arm with a group of 180 female agency executives leading the way.