The advertising industry has become a place where machines have replaced people, jobs have become soul-less, and data is treated as royalty – this before AI gets into its stride.

Much present-day advertising is ineffective, inefficient, unaccountable, untrackable, unmeasurable or just unmeasured.

It abuses the privacy of the public and treats them as ‘product’.

It bombards people with irrelevant and pointless ads.

It enriches criminals through fraud. Half of the ads placed is wasted by being exposed not to humans but to bots.

Advertising could be said to exist to make the adtech industry and the big platforms even wealthier.

Consequently, the industry is no longer an attractive one. Rewards have stagnated, jobs are mundane.

Much of the craft that created high quality advertising that people enjoyed and even welcomed has been diluted.

What can and should be done to address these realities?
The first step must be to throw some light into the debate. Brian Jacobs and Nick Manning have teamed up to bring together a group of people who care about advertising and the ad business (including me, Pam Vick).

We will be holding a half-day seminar on September 12th in London to explore ideas.

We won’t be re-stating the problems; everyone knows what they are in outline if not in detail. What we are interested in is ideas, solutions and discussion that address the truth of our industry and which aim to heighten awareness of the need for change.

Since we started talking publicly, we have had over 200 ‘volunteers’. We have invited no-one; people have raised their hands. We have people throughout the world wanting to help. There is a similar movement in the US. We have the support of The Media Leader, a PR agency and two media agencies. Some would-be volunteers have offered private support but daren’t go public.

Thanks to Jenny Biggam, Anuschka Clarke and team at the7stars for designing us a logo.

Next, courtesy of Graeme Blake and team at Blutui we now have a website . You can volunteer to join a workstream, and book tickets for the event in September in London.

We have now confirmed all 5 workstreams, and have committed leaders.

-Trading, Transparency and Trust – Jenny Biggam, Founder, the7stars
-Business Models – Michael Farmer, Consultant and Author (‘Madison Avenue Makeover’ and ‘Madison Avenue Manslaughter’)
-Measurement and Accountability – Denise Turner, CEO, Route
-Recruitment and Well-Being – Crispin Reed, Founder, Skyscraper Consulting
-Brands & Journalism – Ruben Schreurs, CSO, Ebiquity

We have booked the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in London on the afternoon of September 12th. All details are on our site. We are delighted to announce the opening keynote speech will be by Lucy Jameson, Co-Founder, Uncommon Creative Studio.We will be announcing other high-profile speakers in the coming days.

-Registration from 1.30pm (no lunch, so eat first!)
-Formal presentations and discussion 2pm – 6pm
-Bowl food and drinks 6pm – 8pm

We realise that many would like to attend but cannot for reasons of distance or possibly politics. We are going to record the whole event and are looking into the practicalities of live streaming it as well. This is an event without sponsors, underwritten by Brian and Nick and funded entirely from ticket sales. We are doing it this way to encourage an event free from any sponsor distractions or pressures. We will sell a maximum of 140 tickets which will include a networking food and drink period after the formal presentations and discussions. We think this is important, we want to encourage a positive and open discussion in which all voices can be heard and everyone can participate.

For more details contact: Brian Jacobs: Brian Jacobs or Nick Manning: