NEWS22 January 2024

More ad firms can do on mental health, says IPA

Media News UK Wellbeing

UK – Advertising firms should be doing more to support employees’ mental health and wellbeing, according to research from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).


In research published by the IPA and carried out by Opinium, 78% of advertising professionals felt workplaces should do more to support mental health and wellbeing.

In addition, only a third ( 34%) of advertising employees said their employer has a mental health policy and 22% said their company has mental health first aiders or champions.

The results are based on a nationally representative poll commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium in November 2023 among a sample of 1,265 UK adults and followed up by a further IPA-commissioned poll of 100 UK adults employed in advertising, marketing and PR professions conducted by Opinium in December 2023.

Other results include that 15% of all employees and 30% of advertising, marketing and PR employees said their company supplies mental health training.

In addition, 83% of advertising, marketing and PR professionals were concerned about taking time off when there is a high workload, compared with 56% of all employees.

The IPA has also launched an IPA Adland Wellbeing Lab, an online hub that curates resources, advice and training to help support the mental health and wellbeing of employees.

The lab is accessible to all and will continually be updated and added to, with the IPA hosting a series of workshops this year to showcase best-in-class examples and best practice resources.

The IPA has also formed a ‘people first promise’ to require agencies to provide evidence of activity that supports their employees’ mental health and wellbeing under the three categories of empower, support and prevent.

Empower relates to empowering and educating individuals within the workplace to support their own mental health, support relates to what the business can do to help their people, while prevent relates to senior leader accountability and involvement by ensuring reliable processes, checks and action plans for mental health are in place and regularly monitored.

IPA president Josh Krichefski said: “I am a firm believer that it is much easier to put in place guardrails to help prevent poor mental health and wellbeing than it is to treat it. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. But this takes commitment – demonstrable commitment – and investment from the top down.

“It is one thing to launch a policy or initiative – and that’s a great start, but 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. By supporting and empowering our people, and working to prevent harms, I truly believe our people and our businesses will thrive now and in the future.”