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About Us

Advertising can be a creative and inspiring world, where ideas come alive with drama,
excitement and humour to entertain and engage us. But today, young people grow up in a world of commercial messaging that touches most areas of their lives – so it is more important than ever that they understand exactly what is being suggested, promised and sold to them.

Our innovative educational resources are designed to provide 7–17 year olds with the understanding and tools they need to be critical consumers of the media, looking at important subjects like social media and digital advertising, influencer marketing and body image.

In developing the key skills of media literacy – resilience, empathy, creativity, communication and critical-thinking – young people are also building life skills which will help them on their journey towards future employability and well-being, and equip them to be successful global citizens.

We provide guidance for teachers, parents, guardians and carers to inspire young people; we explain the working world of advertising and media, providing job and career advice and pathways, through the lens of advertising literacy. Find out more, here.

Please take a look around, immerse yourself in our fascinating world and, above all, have fun teaching and talking to the young people in your lives.

For the latest news on our campaigns and teaching materials, sign up to our social feeds.

Meet the Team

rachel barber-mack

Executive Director of Media Smart UK

Rachel was brought in to relaunch and run Media Smart back in 2014, which has seen the programme go from strength to strength – milestones include over 25 advertising industry supporters and 68,000 downloads of its new teaching resources. Whilst leading Media Smart, Rachel has championed innovative educational campaigns on body image, influencer marketing and social media – working with the Government, the world’s most recognised brands and charities including NSPCC and Childline.

She is passionate about delivering social impact initiatives and is recognised for connecting people, organisations and projects to make positive things happen with a lasting legacy.

Earlier in her career, Rachel co-founded her own successful youth and experiential marketing agency, running award winning projects for Apple, EA Sports,  MTV and MCC. At the Engine Group, she developed and implemented RBS’s sponsorship strategy including 6 Nations Rugby, Andy & Judy Murray and Sachin Tendulkar. And fresh out of university, she ran the commercial arm of Millfield School’s world class education, sports and cultural facilities.

Dan Clays

Chair of Media Smart UK and CEO OMG EMEA

Dan Clays is Chief Executive of Omnicom Media Group for EMEA.  He is responsible for the overall business performance, client delivery and future growth and transformation strategy of Omnicom’s media agencies and central operations across 25 markets.

Dan has been in Omnicom for 13 years, previously leading OMD UK and then running OMG in the UK from 2019.  He has been very closely involved with Barclays since the start of the partnership with OMG in 2018.   Previously Dan has ran a digital specialist agency for 10 years and spent the first part of his media career in TV planning and buying.

Dan is also Chair of the UK Advertising and Media Industry non-profit education programme Media Smart, which is focused on improving media literacy of young people across the UK. He lives in London and is a proud Liverpool FC fan.

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