Speaking at the inaugural Edinburgh International Marketing Festival (EIMF), Tim Lefroy, chief executive of the Advertising Association, called on marketers to "reclaim their rightful place as the consumer’s champion".
Lefroy. said: "In the minds of many, marketing is now somehow anti the consumer, working against, not with their interests.
"Nothing should be further from the truth. Great marketing does great things for people and for businesses. We need to stop being so defensive and start celebrating marketing's role."
During Creative Brief's "new decade of opportunity" programme at the EIMF, Lefroy revealed that Pepsico, Santander and Microsoft have joined Front Foot – the AA-backed campaign to put evidence into the case for advertising. This takes the campaign's fund-raising to more than £800,000.
Lefroy said: "With the expertise we now have on board, there is a real opportunity to achieve a step-change in people's perceptions of advertising and marketing and the value it brings."