International Advertising Association

The International Advertising Association (IAA) is a global association that represents marketers, ad agencies and mass media that carries advertisements. With headquarters in New York, United States, it has chapters in 77 countries.[1][2] It was founded with the name Export Advertising Association on April 8, 1938 by Thomas Ashwell – a publisher of "Export Trade & Shipper" magazines, along with 12 other managers from the advertising industry in the Harvard Club of New York. Their goal was to exchange information about successful practices in international advertising. In 1954, it adopted its current name.[3][4][5]

IAA as an international industry association positions itself as a platform for advertising industry issues, and as an organization that protects and advances the freedom of commercial speech, responsible advertising, consumer choice, and the education of marketing professionals by researching and providing advertising regulation literature in many countries of the world.[6][7] The International Advertising Association has conducted and summarized surveys over the years, on culturally sensitive topics such as the relative use and permissibility of "sex and decency" in advertisements.[8]

Role and prioritiesEdit

According to John Jones, the IAA is a global organization that promotes the "critical role and benefits of advertising" and its role in indirectly financing affordable free press in an open society.[3] The association encourages self-regulation to keep advertising "legal, decent, honest and truthful", and it advocates increasing consumer choice and freedom of commercial speech.[3] It is also a forum where advertising and marketing industry professionals discuss issues and concerns in diverse environments. The IAA supports internship programs for youth exploring job opportunities in the industry, as well as pro bono advertisement campaigns on global themes such as its "Give a Kid a Hand" campaign in 1998.[3]

Meetings, awards and standardsEdit

The IAA organizes the biennial World Advertising Congress, a worldwide meeting of advertising professionals. The association also holds regional conferences wherein key speakers from the regional markets are invited to participate.[3] At these events, it also honors individuals in the advertisement industry and in the mass media who have made significant positive impact on the mission and priorities of the International Advertising Association.[3] The IAA has developed accreditation standards for advertising diploma programs in 35 countries, and these standards were the basis for 1-year courses in some 50 institutes as of 2014.[4]


The IAA publishes an annual report, a membership directory as well as periodic literature authored by scholars in academia that is aimed at keeping its stakeholders informed about changing laws, issues and perspectives on advertisement and marketing.[3][9]

The IAA started publishing monographs on international advertising in the 1980s, in particular about regulations and self-regulation initiatives in each country.[4] The association's literature on relative perception of similar advertisements in different cultures and regional regulations is one of the most comprehensive, states Gordon Miracle.[6] For example, the Jean Boddewyn surveys and publications sponsored by the IAA on issues such as "sex and decency" in advertisements show a wide relative variation. The top regional concerns vary, according to these IAA studies, ranging from the ads being generally received as "tasteless", or "sexy", or "sexist", or "objectification of women", or "violence against women" depending on the surveyed country.[10] The IAA monographs are in use by the advertising industry professionals and as teaching materials in the academic community.[4]


The IAA is structured into national chapters, each of which operate with considerable autonomy.[11][12] The IAA, states Jones, had over 5,300 individual members and 97 corporate members in 95 countries by 1999. A majority of its membership is from the developed economies, the second largest group of members were from Asia and Pacific region, while the Middle East, Africa and Latin America accounted for the remaining.[3]

Campaigns and controversiesEdit

In 2009 the "Hopenhagen"-campaign was created by the IAA in support of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15). In the interest of the entire industry it has through its chapters launched various pro bono campaigns illustrating the role of marketing communications to economies.[13][14][2]

The close connections and collaboration of IAA – as well as other advertising industry organizations such as the European Association of Advertising Agencies – with the tobacco industry has been controversial.[15]


  1. ^ THE MEDIA BUSINESS: Advertising; International Trade Group Reorganizes, The New York Times, Randall Rothenberga, (APRIL 9, 1990)
  2. ^ a b "IAA launches the case for advertising - International Advertising Association". 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h John Philip Jones (2000). Advertising Organizations and Publications: A Resource Guide. SAGE Publications. pp. 159–167. ISBN 978-1-4522-2186-1.
  4. ^ a b c d Hong Cheng (2014). The Handbook of International Advertising Research. Wiley. pp. 10–12. ISBN 978-1-118-37845-8.
  5. ^ International Advertising Association - Our History, International Advertising Association (2014)
  6. ^ a b Miracle, Gordon E. (1984). "An Assessment of Progress in Research on International Advertising". Current Issues and Research in Advertising. 7 (2): 135–166. doi:10.1080/01633392.1984.10505367.
  7. ^ "'The Case for Advertising' - IAA pitches ads as vital public service in global campaign". Marketing Magazine. 2014-02-23.
  8. ^ Boddewyn, Jean J. (1991). "Controlling Sex and Decency in Advertising around the World". Journal of Advertising. 20 (4): 25–35. doi:10.1080/00913367.1991.10673352.
  9. ^ Charles S. Mack (1991). The Executive's Handbook of Trade and Business Associations. Greenwood. pp. 191–194. ISBN 978-0-89930-531-8.
  10. ^ Barbara Mueller (2011). Dynamics of International Advertising: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. Peter Lang. pp. 314–316. ISBN 978-1-4331-0384-1.
  11. ^ Mack, Charles (1991). The executive's handbook of trade and business associations : how they work, and how to make them work effectively for you. New York: Quorum Books. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-89930-531-8.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The Case for Advertising". Welcome to IAA Global. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  14. ^ "IAA launches the case for advertising - International Advertising Association". 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  15. ^ Neuman, Mark; Bitton, Asaf; Glantz, Stanton (2002). "Tobacco industry strategies for influencing European Community tobacco advertising legislation". The Lancet. Elsevier BV. 359 (9314): 1323–1330. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)08275-2.


  • Wolfgang J. Koschnick: Standard Dictionary of Advertising, Mass Media and Marketing. de Gruyter, S. 229

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