The Agency Sector Guiding Principles during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The agency sector is a critical contributor to the health of the Canadian economy.  Advertising, design, digital, experiential, marketing, media and PR agencies are drivers of business success and connections between Canadians.  We are important to private and public sectors alike.

That’s why the ICA, as the voice of our industry in Canada, is proposing a call to action for the agency sector to put our people first by protecting their jobs and well-being, to help our clients pivot in uncertain times to continue to serve consumers and to support our supply chain that depends on our sector to keep operating.

With immediate effect in response to COVID-19 the ICA is implementing the following 10-point action plan:
  1. The ICA asks all Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) members to reduce payment terms and join us in lobbying government to include this in its essential support of all small businesses across Canada.
  2. The ICA will open all of its networking groups and channels, for free, to all Canadian agencies regardless of membership status.
  3. The ICA will ensure agency leaders and the strategic planning community have access to weekly briefings by Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization (WHO) special envoy to North America and Europe to provide a global context to use in advising clients.
  4. The ICA will work with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and government will provide all agencies with details on all of the government funding initiatives and how to access them, as they become available.
  5. The ICA will work with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and government to lobby for the deep consideration for freelance talent and future talent from our colleges and universities.
  6. The ICA will liaise with industry associations across North America, Asia and Europe to keep members informed on trends and develops relevant to the Canadian market.
  7. The ICA will provide advice and counsel to help all agencies manage financial and operational challenges such as salary decreases, shorter hours, borrowing options, rent payment negotiations and access to government support.
  8. The ICA will build daily social and digital opportunities at all levels to keep teams connected across the sector including free on-line learning sessions by the world’s best trainers and speakers and interactive industry-wide content.
  9. The ICA will hold daily briefings and networking sessions on Zoom and Slack for leaders and all agency departments to share best practice, case studies, resources and solutions across the agency sector.
  10. The ICA will collate information for the sector, open to all and from all available resources on the ICA website, www.theica.ca/covid19.

In these challenging times the ICA will be opening up all of its communication channels and support to all Canadian agencies including non-members to take part in this community activation.  All agencies and their people will be welcome to join all ICA video and chat groups, throughout this pandemic.

We can accomplish amazing things when we come together as one united community to support one another in a common cause.  Our people and our clients will be instrumental in Canada managing this time and driving our economy onwards and upwards.

Let’s step up together and make a difference.

The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA)