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New IPA President Dougie set to accelerate opportunities by 10x


Diversity and Inclusion



IPA President and our Vice Chairman, Dougie announced his agenda to make the most of this discontinuous moment to accelerate opportunity for the UK advertising industry and beyond: 10x sooner, 10x bigger and 10x bolder. Dougie's public address was delivered on 24th March, accompanied by a live Q&A.

Nobody wants to revert to the world of 2019. As Einstein put it “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity…” Disruption and uncertainty can be very painful but they open windows as well as close doors. Julian Douglas, IPA President, VCCP Vice Chairman

Dougie's agenda will turbo boost the industry from the inside out, centred around three key themes: IPA 10x (for the industry); THINK 10x (for wider society); TECH 10x (for gaming, AR and International collaboration).Setting out his 10x:

Accelerate Opportunity agenda 

Dougie acknowledged the pressures the ad industry has faced over the past decade. From waning relevance, to shrinking budgets, retainers replaced by piecemeal projects, the relentless march of short-termism, in-housing, consultancies and tech platforms. All of which is administered by "the time and resource hungry tyranny of the pitch process". The fundamental issue being that "we still have to make the case for the value advertising can deliver".

Dougie also highlighted the silver linings of Covid-19, namely that it has provided an inflection point, "a discontinuous moment to change things, an opportunity to press reset on a whole range of issues far beyond advertising". This is coupled with the fact that it has amplified the speed, capability and adoption of our digital tech ten-fold. 

“It feels to me that we have been talking about the same things and diagnosing the same problems for at least the past decade. But what if we were to harness the positives to apply a multiplier effect to how we tackle the perennial problems advertising and society more broadly faces? What if we were to make incrementalism our enemy and resolve instead to move 10 x sooner, 10 x bigger, 10 x bolder?”


Dougie's three-step 10x presidential plan to accelerate the opportunity for adland:

IPA 10x: Industry 

Launch an Effectiveness Accreditation programme: This will make a stronger case for the value of advertising, for our agencies and clients; creating and embedding effectiveness processes, environments, attitudes and values into organisations. 

Increase, by 10x, the number of agency people taking the LSE MBA Essentials course, run in association with the IPA: To improve agencies' understanding of the fundamentals of business language and thinking at an earlier stage. 

Challenge agencies to accelerate efforts around talent, diversity and inclusion: For which the brand new IPA Future of Fairness publication, launched in February this year, provides a Roadmap for every agency to follow.

“Looking under the bonnet of the IPA I see lots of smart initiatives that already exist. But steady progress should not be the default. Where there is something of sufficient importance, as President, I challenge the Council and this organisation to turbo boost the very best of what we already do.”


Think 10x: Society 

Create an IPA 10x think tank: Working with Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy, Author and The Spectator's 'Wiki Man' columnist - a man who has always waged war on incrementalism - to show the world what advertising's brightest thinkers are capable of through creativity, ideas and their skills in engagement and persuasion. 


TECH 10x: Gaming, AR, International collaboration

“I’m acutely aware that we are missing a massive creative opportunity right under our noses: gaming. This sector is bigger than the movie and music industry combined, and with the explosion of mobile gaming, is growing at pace. Combined with 5G, the possibilities for innovation and inclusivity are endless.”

Grow partnerships with gaming companies: Douglas has lined up a series of partnerships with the leading global gaming companies to upskill and collaborate with agencies.

Collaborate with Epic Games: Launched today, this collaboration will explore ways in which IPA agencies can use Unreal Engine real-time technology to unlock creativity.

 Partner with Facebook on AR

Through a partnership with Facebook, announced for the first time today, Douglas will work with them on the advancement of AR in marketing through a series of educational seminars and practical workshop   Welcome the world to the UK for Cop26 and the Commonwealth Games

Taking place in Glasgow this November, and next year in Birmingham, respectively, both will create exciting opportunities for collaboration.

 Lead a trade mission to India in 2022

To enable IPA agencies to meet, learn from and collaborate with new tech partners in the world’s biggest democracy and emergent economy – Asia’s answer, and increasingly rival, to Silicon Valley.

In closing his phenomenal speech, Dougie made a rallying call for agencies to join him on his mission: 

 “Advertising is ready to fulfil much bigger ambitions than just survival. We have the data, the technology, the pure creative firepower to change the world and our place in it.

 “I need you, your energy, ideas and opinions to make this sooner, bigger, bolder agenda happen. So please see this as an invitation to get involved.”