Havas launches ethics accreditation for staff and clients

Didn’t know there was an Institute of Advertising Ethics but there is, it seems, and there’s a special IAE certificate – Certified Ethical Advertising Executive (CEAE) – developed with Creighton Business School and the University of Texas at Austin. Havas has signed up as its founder agency member, offering the course to staff and clients globally at no cost.

“Our goal is to create a more sustainable, ethical and inclusive media ecosystem, holding ourselves, our partners, clients and the industry at-large to the highest ethical standards,” says Ben Downing, global MD, Ethical Media & Strategic Partnerships at Havas Media Group, who also serves on IAE’s advisory council. “Ethics is key to delivering brilliant media experiences that consumers value and trust and protecting the future of their most meaningful media. Creating a future generation of ethical advertising practitioners through the CEAE certification is an important way we can make a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people.”

The digital course is three video lecture modules and an assessment, designed to translate ethical considerations into business decisions and instil a set of principles for decision making. The certification is now available to Havas Media Group staff through Havas University, the agency’s proprietary education platform, and will become available to clients too.

So Havas Media seems to be driving this although, presumably, it will also include gnomes in the creative agencies too.

Media agencies have certainly come a long way since the business consisted chiefly of barking at media owners and then adjourning to lunch (often with said media owners – sometimes it was a round of golf.)

(Have you heard the one about the politician who thought ethics was a county in the south east of England?)

Anyway, we mustn’t mock. No doubt this will be a great benefit to Havas and its staff. Not sure if clients will buy it. Might make their life even more complicated.

PS Two senior managers at Havas in Paris have been suspended following complaints on the Balance Ton Agency Instagram account.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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