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Industry bodies, including Nabs, the IPA and the Advertising Association, are calling on advertising and marketing leaders to address the rising tide of poor mental health among workers by implementing the newly launched Brilliant Creative Minds Code of Conduct. 

The aim of the new code is to protect creativity by eradicating practices in procurement, commissioning and agency culture that compromise mental health and wellbeing, and comes with guidance on how the principles can be applied to real workplaces.

Stephanie Drakes, managing partner of Social & Local – the agency that initiated, funds and manages Brilliant Creative Minds – says: “Poor mental wellbeing is the enemy of creativity in our industry and our goal is to eradicate practices that cause unnecessary and dangerous levels of stress in agency environments.

“We’d like the industry to sign up to it and commit to embedding its principles within organizations to create an industry where negative workplace stress is reduced, talent is retained and the UK protects its pole position in the world for creativity as clients, once again, get the best out of their agencies.”

Who’s involved?

  • The Code of Conduct was developed by a coalition of industry bodies including Crown Commercial Service, Nabs, the IPA, Social & Local, the Alliance of Independent Agencies, Isba and the Advertising Association, with input from industry pioneers – senior leaders from the client, agency and procurement worlds. 

  • The Code was developed by the industry coalition through a robust process of intelligence gathering. 

  • This included in-depth interviews with senior leaders across the client, agency and procurement worlds, including Stephanie Parry, marketing and procurement lead at Crown Commercial Service; Tom Knox, executive partner at MullenLowe Group; Adam Skinner, chief operating officer at OmniGov Manning Gottlieb OMD; and Jane Asscher, chief exec at 23Red. 

What is it for?

  • The aim of the code is to protect creativity by eradicating practices including long-hours culture and fear of job loss in agencies; excessive tender requirements and procurement processes; and unrealistic client timescales and demands. 

  • It includes principles such as asking no more of people than you need or intend to pay for, taking a personal interest in workers’ wellbeing and creating time for creativity. 

  • The code also comes with guidance on how the principles can be applied to real workplaces.

  • The Brilliant Creative Minds partners are now calling on agencies, clients and procurement professionals to sign up to the code and commit to embedding its principles into their workplace cultures. 

Those who wish to sign up to the Brilliant Creative Minds Code of Conduct can do so here.