UK advertising exports hit £6.9 billion in 2017 says new report

Louisa Cavell

Today, The Advertising Association published it’s UK Advertising Exports Report 2019

The report, which is the industry’s first-ever annual exports tracker shows that international trade in UK advertising services reached £6.9 billion in 2017, a 7% increase on the figure recorded in 2016.

The report also showed that the UK’s balance of payments surplus for advertising was the largest in Europe at £3.8 billion, while the export of advertising services has almost tripled in the last decade, from £2.4 billion in 2009.

Highlighted within the report is the continuing importance of EU markets ahead of Brexit. The £3.2 billion exported to EU nations representing over half of advertising exports (55%) and 59% represents the percentage of all UK advertising exports going to Europe. (including both EU and non-EU countries).

The new report comes in the wake of the UK advertising industry’s first “Export Month” aimed at supporting the UK’s position as a global advertising hub, with a programme of activities including trade missions to the Shanghai International Advertising Festival and SXSW in the USA, in partnership with the Department for International Trade.

James Murphy, Exports Champion, Advertising Association and Group CEO at adam&eveDDB said: “This new report demonstrates the strength of the UK as a global exporter of advertising services. To have reached almost £7 billion in exports and more than tripled the value of overseas trade in the past ten years testifies to the creativity and entrepreneurial approach that is a hallmark of UK advertising.”

Murphy added: “As we approach Brexit it is crucial that we champion our industry on the world stage and pursue bold policies in key areas like being open to overseas talent, ensuring a complementary regulatory environment and continuing to develop a strong exporting strategy. Looking to the future, this report stands a timely reminder of how we excel as an industry – by being open, global and fearless in the face of competition.”

The report also includes the results of a survey conducted by think tank Credos, of advertising businesses, focused on generating overseas income.

The results found that od the 120 advertising and marketing communications providers surveyed (representing a £1 billion turnover) nine out of ten businesses generate income from overseas, with overseas clients accounting for an average of 31% of known revenue. This trend is not limited to larger companies, with small and medium companies also reporting a similar proportion of revenue from exports.

35% of businesses surveyed claimed to be operating as a regional or global hub for their clients, reflecting the UK’s place as Europe’s advertising capital.

 Other key statistics include: 65% of businesses having participated in overseas events, one in five businesses having taken part in trade missions for Department of International Trade (DIT). Strikingly, a significant minority of businesses surveyed (35%) reported taking no part in overseas events, which were exclusively SMEs.

Additionally, 80% of businesses surveyed employ non-British nationals, supporting the findings of previous Credos research showing the UK advertising industry to be a magnet for global talent. The figure was even higher in London-based businesses, with 90% employing non-British nationals.

Janet Hull, Chair, Promote UK and Director of Marketing Strategy, The IPA commented:

“This report is the culmination of our Promote UK group’s month-long celebration of UK advertising’s exporting success and is one that we hope will become an annual fixture on the advertising calendar.”

Hull added: “At the heart of our success as an advertising exporting nation are the businesses and the people working in our industry right across the country. As such, this report includes a number of effective real-life examples of how UK advertising’s creative minds are servicing a global client base. I would encourage any business that shares our vision for UK advertising’s place on the world stage to get involved in Promote UK and join us in our mission.”

The report also includes case studies on exporting activity from a host of UK advertising businesses, including ABOVE+BEYOND, adam&eveDDB, Crowd, DAZN, Framestore, Jellyfish, MBA, and Nexus Studios.

 Read the full report here.








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