Modern Slavery Statement

Company Snapshot

  • Ascential is a global business-to-business information company, listed on the London Stock Exchange. Our focused portfolio of market leading brands enable a connected and informed business world that leads to better commercial decisions and creates opportunities
  • The company has offices in 16 countries around the globe and provides business professionals in 150 countries with world class connections and content through market leading events and information services
  • In a data saturated world, we continue to invest in innovation, product, technology and customer service to ensure our customers know they can rely on the information and access they gain and the difference we make to their businesses.
  • Our aim is to ensure our brands are the most sought out and trusted
  • The company has taken a leading approach to gender diversity, with 57.1% women on the plc board, the highest in the FTSE350.
  • Ascential is home to:
    • Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity
    • The world's premier payments and financial services congress Money20/20
    • Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, the UK’s largest trade shows
    • The global fashion trend forecasting service WGSN
    • e-commerce analytics provider One Click Retail and 
    • MediaLink, the strategic advisory and business services firm. 
  • Our top five products represented 69% of 2016 Group revenue
  • 38% of 2016 revenues from operations in the UK.


Ascential recognises that slavery, forced labour and human trafficking (Modern Slavery) is a global issue. One that Ascential understands affects innocent lives. Ascential has a zero tolerance approach to Modern Slavery of any kind and has taken steps to eliminate it from its supply chain. Throughout this work, we have found support from customers, suppliers and Ascential employees to this zero tolerance approach. This Ascential community has no tolerance for Modern Slavery and has pledged to raise awareness and take steps to source suppliers responsibly.

Our Supply Chain

Ascential has a large number of suppliers of goods and services, as well as a great many subcontractors and partners from numerous consortia each of which will have their own subcontractors, affiliates and associate entities. These companies are based throughout the world and vary considerably both in terms of size and amount spent with them. Given our global presence and diverse supply chain, we are aware of the importance of taking meaningful lasting action to mitigate this risk.

In January 2016 we established a steering group to map our supply chain and assess areas of risk. This steering group comprises representatives from our Legal, Procurement and Finance teams. Recommended action plans were approved by the Board and implementation of these plans supported by the Executive management team throughout the Group.

  • The Procurement team evaluated the supply base and categorised it to understand where there may be risk within it using guidance issued by the Walk Free Foundation.  The steering committee specifically focused their initial efforts on identifying countries where bonded labour is more prevalent, or sectors that may be typically associated with unfair labour practices. From this categorisation exercise we established which suppliers are deemed to be high and medium risk. 
  • In parallel Ascential adopted a Third Party Code of Conduct. This Code outlines our ethical approach to doing business and explains the standards we strive to ensure that all our suppliers should abide by. It contains provisions on involuntary and child labour, freedom of association, diversity and equality, anti-corruption, intellectual property and privacy, health and safety and the environment. We also expect our suppliers’ suppliers to adhere to it. Our Third Party Code of Conduct can be found on our website here:
  • Our approach includes contacting all high risk suppliers in 2017, requiring them to adopt our Third Party Code of Conduct and to complete a questionnaire designed to identify any areas of non-compliance with our Third Party Code of Conduct and confirm that our supply chain is slavery and human trafficking free. Should a supplier fail to fulfil the minimum standards outlined in our Code, Ascential reserves the right to terminate the business supplier relationship without consequence or liability.

As an additional safeguard, all our major suppliers are subject to an approvals process before they are permitted to supply services to us. Our supplier set-up process was revised to ensure that all new major suppliers understand and sign up to our Code of Conduct before we do business with them. From January 2017 we embedded the Code of Conduct into standard terms and conditions with all suppliers (such as contracts and purchase orders). We aim to have all suppliers sign up to our Third Party Code of Conduct (or to adhere to an equivalent internal code).


Our Whistleblowing policy enables our staff to report any wrongdoing which extends to human rights violations, including modern slavery. All employees have access to an independent reporting service where concerns regarding unacceptable working practices can be reported. Reports may be made anonymously. All reports are investigated and appropriate action taken.


Our Code of Conduct is available to all employees on our Group intranet and has been communicated directly by the Chief Executive to all employees to underpin the importance of the Code. 

To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking, we have provided training to our senior leadership team, Group finance and to Procurement.


We will use the following key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how effective we have been in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our business or supply chains:

  • Names of and number of employees trained;
  • Number of suppliers either obligated to comply with our Code of Conduct or with a similar internal code;
  • Number of key suppliers confirming their organisations are slavery and human trafficking free;
  • Number of key suppliers confirming their 1st tier suppliers are slavery and human trafficking free;
  • Number of key suppliers confirming their lower tier suppliers are slavery and human trafficking.


We will periodically review the effectiveness of the steps we have taken to sure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains by continuously improving any policies, procedures and systems that we have implemented.


This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2016.

This statement was approved by the Board of Ascential plc on 20 June 2017 and will be subject to annual review.

For and on behalf of the Board,

Duncan Painter
Chief Executive