‘We can boost the UK’s global reputation through advertising exports’

The Drum 23 Oct 2020 10:56

As part of this week’s Agencies4Growth Festival, we’re asking some of the brightest minds in marketing why agencies matter today. Here, Janet Hull, chair of UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG), explains how UK agencies can boost the reputation of UK advertising on the global stage

This week, the UKAEG published a new report, Powering Up UK Advertising. The Advertising Association (AA) partnered with PwC and UK advertising thinktank Credos to undertake a micro-economic study, delving into the individual stories, statistics and perspectives behind the companies serving the UK advertising export market.

A wide range of advertising and marketing services companies from UKAEG helped unpick the market as the research team considered three key areas: what drives UK advertising exports; what barriers are there to UK advertising exports; and how has Covid-19 impacted on UK advertising exports over the summer.

The study identified a circle of creativity, talent and reputation at the heart of UK advertising exports success, which are all mutually reinforcing – without talent, you can’t have the creativity to obtain a global reputation, and without a global reputation, you can’t attract the quality of talent required to produce world-class creativity.

Crucially, the research has shown that the size of a company really does not matter when it comes to achieving international ambitions.

We believe a collaborative industry approach is required. We have members from across the sector – adtech, creative, production and post-production companies, research, data companies and talent scouts – all working together to boost the reputation of UK advertising on the global stage.

With this in mind, the UKAEG is investing in the brand of UK advertising, based on the fundamental truth reinforced by our recent study. The campaign is led by our Made Global film, developed by UKAEG members Adam&EveDDB and The Mill. It tells the story of the UK’s unrivalled reputation for creativity.

An industry action plan

Our goal is to provide a policy and industry roadmap that will create the right environment for UK advertising to continue to grow exports in the coming years, into a future that includes the UK’s departure from the EU and its economic and social recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

As an industry, the continued success of UK advertising on the world stage is, above all, a testament to its resilience.

New business opportunities have also opened up through our virtual trade missions to China with the Shanghai International Advertising Festival (SHIAF). As we look ahead to 2021, the UKAEG will be coordinating and running a programme of virtual trade exchanges, at key industry events such as SXSW, SHIAF and Cannes Lions during 2021.

Our report highlights concern from companies about how to go about building an export strategy and the costs and logistical challenges involved in doing this. UKAEG companies that have successfully grown their business internationally will be invited to offer advice and guidance to all UK advertising companies interested in growing their business through exporting.

We want companies across the UK to join us on our mission to boost the reputation of UK advertising on the global stage and accelerate their growth in export performance. We will be holding a UK roadshow during 2021 to identify companies from all the creative cities to join our the UKAEG.

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UKUKAEGJanet HullAdvertising Export GroupAA
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