Josh Krichefski, CEO of GroupM and president of the IPA, is asking agencies to provide hard evidence that they are investing in employee wellbeing. Adland is more likely than other industries to have policies in place, but its employees get a raw deal on implementation, according to IPA research.
Advertising leaders have a terrible reputation for paying lip service to mental health issues, and this initiative is aimed squarely at them. They are called on to be fully accountable and involved by implementing and monitoring processes, checks and action.
Agencies that comply will earn a People First Promise badge of honour, which sounds a bit Boy Scouts but will be a great recruitment tool in an industry that struggles to convince talent it can offer a decent quality of life.
The IPA spoke to 1,265 UK working adults, of whom 100 worked in the advertising field:
- 78% (vs 49%) think employers should be doing more to support mental health
- 83% of adland employees (vs 56%) are concerned about taking time off if there’s a high workload
- 34% (vs 21%) say their employer has the ability to make reasonable adjustments to support mental health
Krichefski said: “As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. But this takes commitment – demonstrable commitment – and investment from the top down. What’s crucial is to embed it into the culture and everyday workings of your organisation. We must integrate mental health and wellbeing and not view it as an add-on. This is why it is vital that agency leaders commit to and evidence their activity in this area.”
The IPA has launched an accompanying online portal, the Wellbeing Lab, that offers training, advice and resources. There will also be a series of workshops this year.