Code of conduct launched to safeguard wellbeing of comms professionals

Allegory, Cirkle, Smarts and 23red are among the agencies backing a code of conduct, launched today, that is intended to improve the wellbeing of people working in comms and advertising.

The code of conduct is intended to help safeguard the wellbeing of employees (Pic credit: Getty Images)
The code of conduct is intended to help safeguard the wellbeing of employees (Pic credit: Getty Images)

Concerns over a culture of long hours driven by a fear of losing your job, along with unrealistic demands from clients and excessive tender requirements and procurement processes, have prompted the creation of the Brilliant Creative Minds Code of Conduct.

Devised by strategic comms agency Social & Local, the aim of the code is to stamp out behaviours that have an adverse effect on employee wellbeing and diminish creativity in comms and advertising.

Its core principles include asking no more of people than you need or intend to pay for, taking a personal interest in those you are working with, and creating time for creativity.

The Crown Commercial Service, NABS, IPA, Alliance of Independent Agencies, Advertising Association and ISBA are among the bodies backing the call for the comms and advertising industry to adopt the code.

It is the latest stage of the Brilliant Creative Minds campaign launched last year, and has been developed with input from senior figures at the Government Communications Service and Crown Commercial Service, as well as Tom Knox, executive partner at MullenLowe Group; Adam Skinner, chief operating officer of OmniGOV, Manning Gottlieb OMD; and Jane Asscher, chief executive of 23Red.

Stephanie Drakes, managing partner of Social & Local, said: “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.”

She called on the industry to sign up to the code and “commit to embedding its principles within organisations 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.”

Nicky Harris, director of strategy and development at the NABS charity, warned: “Mental health and wellbeing have never been more critical than they are now. As an industry, our people are our greatest asset and if we fail to look after them, we will fail to thrive.”

Asscher, who as well as helping to develop it has also signed up to the code, said: “As an industry we make our living from communicating, and we need to turn that expertise inwards and collaborate on mental health and wellbeing.”

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