Advertising: An economic and social force for good in Scotland

I attended the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Scotland’s Members’ Reception last week, and was left with a hugely positive impression of the advertising industry Scotland. I was particularly struck by the comments of Brian Coane from Leith Agency, outgoing IPA Scotland President, about the contribution that Advertising makes to the Scottish Economy.  Brian has been involved in producing a new report designed to raise the profile of the Advertising Industry in Scotland – one of the key findings of the report is that a massive 42000 jobs in Scotland depend on advertising: the industry is a clear job creator. The report also finds that every £1 spent on advertising in Scotland adds £5 to the Scottish GDP, contributing £8.8 billion overall.

We were also reminded that sometimes the social impact of advertising is overlooked – for students interested in a career that benefits society, it is worth remembering that advertising isn’t always about sales – it can be a force for good.  Advertising campaigns commissioned by the Scottish Government mean that Scotland now has the highest level or organ donation in the UK for example.

Advertising as a force for good was also very much evident in the submissions for this year’s IPA Scotland Student Advertising Awards.   The challenge was to create an idea for an advertising campaign that would help to tackle poor body confidence amongst teenagers in Scotland.  The awards were presented by Nigel Henderson from Penumbra, one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities. Nigel spoke about the importance of advertising campaigns to charities like Penumbra, and the impact they can have in advancing charities’ aims.  It struck me that we often hear that people want to work in the public sector or the third sector, but it is worth remembering that you don’t have to be employed directly by an organisation in the public or third sector to make an impact in those areas – working in a corporate advertising agency can give you those opportunities too..

If you are interested in finding out more about the impact of Advertising in Scotland, you can read the Advertising Pays Scotland report here:

To find out more about the IPA Scotland Advertising Awards, and view the winning submissions, see:

Further information about careers in advertising can be found on the Careers Service website:

You can search for related jobs on MyCareerHub under Occupation Type: Marketing, Advertising & PR

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