HAT's mission is to promote learning and creative excellence by preserving and celebrating the advertising heritage of the UK.
The collections reflect the UK advertising industry from 1800, through the Victorian expansion to the global operation that it is today.
HAT provides the stories behind the famous brands, the ideas and research that led to their development and changing image. These can be understood within the context of the UK advertising industry, its regulatory bodies, agencies, organisations, and lobby groups.
Every form of UK advertising and public relations material is represented in a wide variety of formats, including original artwork, posters, point of sale promotions, brochures, press and magazine proofs and cuttings, direct mail, photographs, transparencies, audio and video tapes, TV and cinema commercials and campaign research. It also holds advertising statistics, market research and trends, industry journals, consumer magazines and a comprehensive library of over 5,000 books.
HAT holds the archives of many organisations, including The Advertising Association, The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, The Direct Marketing Association, Periodical Publishers Association and The Institute of Public Relations.
Other archives include Ogilvy & Mather and JWT, as well as dozens of agencies that no longer trade such as Bates UK/Dorland and Collett Dickenson Pearce. In addition, the surging expansion of the advertising industry in the UK during the 1920s led to the setting up of many advertising clubs and associations to represent the interests of their members. Their archives are well represented at HAT and include The Creative Circle, National Advertising Benefit Society (NABS), Women in Advertising and Communications, London (WACL), The Publicity Club of London, The Regent Club, The Solus Club and The Thirty Club.