Advertising Association Launches Promote UK a new industry group

Promote UK, launched today by the Advertising Association in support of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, is a new industry group formed to position the UK as the top global hub and centre of excellence for advertising as the post-Brexit transition period approaches. Promote UK will work directly with DIT and ensure UK advertising takes a central place in the GREAT campaign. The group’s objectives will be to raise awareness of UK advertising at scale to drive reputation; target key influencers and decision-makers for in-depth engagement; and ensure marketing services are included in DIT Foreign Direct Investment pitch presentations across all sectors of the economy.

Promote UK will be chaired by Janet Hull OBE, IPA Director of Marketing Strategy and has over thirty participating companies at launch including 18 Feet & Rising, The Seven Stars, AAR, Above+Beyond , adam&eveDDB, APA, Bang TV, DMA, Feref , Framestore, Gravity Road, Grey, IAB UK, IPM, Iris Worldwide, Karmarama, Kinetic, Kingston Smith, London & Partners, M&C Saatchi, MBA, McCann, Mother London, Mindshare, MRS , Nexus Studios, Ogilvy, Park Pictures, Rattling Stick, Seven, St Luke’s, System 1 Group, Thomas Thomas Films, VCCP and Y&R.

Working together, Promote UK’s goal is to encourage and support businesses across the sector to secure more international business, test new markets and reach out to new clients and partners globally. In Promote UK’s first industry appearance, Janet Hull and Advertising Association chairman, James Murphy, will be presenting at the inaugural Shanghai International Advertising Festival on the topic – The advertising opportunity to take China brands global: a UK perspective.

Promote UK will work directly with DIT’s team, led by Jamila Saidi, Director GREAT International Trade Campaign, and DIT’s first advertising sector specialist, David Moody, to feed into DIT’s network which extends to over 160 Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in over 100 nations globally. Many of these have DIT officials in place to support and to promote UK trade and to assist UK businesses to do business with that market. Priority markets for Promote UK include North America, China, India, Japan, Middle East, Germany, France and Hong Kong where DIT staff come with extensive local private sector experience and can offer knowledge and contacts to UK companies new to those markets.

Promote UK will showcase the entirety of the advertising and marketing sector, including: creative and media agencies, production and post-production, digital, direct marketing and market research. Target audiences include CEOs and CMOs of major companies from all sectors who may want to invest in advertising services based in the UK or in advertising within the UK. These encompass tech buyers in brands, agencies or media companies, or agencies seeking production or post-production services.

Janet Hull, Promote UK Chair, said: “We want buyers to feel that, unless they choose a British company, they have not quite bought the best there is. This emotional connection will help to underpin rational selection processes. By co-ordinating efforts across the sector and partnering with Government, and embassies around the world, we will be able to expend our collective reach at a critical time when the UK needs to be even more visible on the world stage.”

Jamila Saidi, Director GREAT International Trade Campaign, said: “This a hugely exciting opportunity to showcase UK advertising around the world, but also to highlight the many brilliant UK businesses featuring in these advertisements and the talent and services behind them. We are very much looking forward to putting the power of the GREAT campaign into action for this industry, which is a stated priority for Government support.”

Promote UK is working with DIT and its presence at forthcoming industry events to promote UK advertising sector. These include World Retail Congress, Cannes Lions and Dmexco. Further details are available on the Promote UK site:

About UK exports of advertising services:

The latest ONS International Trade in Services Survey (ITIS) – an annual measure of exports of advertising services by UK companies – has shown the value of exports of advertising services has grown from £2.4bn in 2009 to £5.8bn in 2016, a 142% increase. Between 2015 to 2016 the export of advertising services increased by 35%, rising from £4.5bn to £5.8bn.

In addition, Promote UK conducted its own Trade Survey in late 2017 and, based on response from 100 advertising companies, has identified key findings to be tracked on an annual basis include:

  • Non-UK clients of advertising firms account for 36% of clients and 40% of turnover.
  • Non-UK clients account for a similar level of turnover regardless of company size, meaning SMEs are benefiting from international business just as much as larger firms.
  • Over 70% of respondents’ service international clients
  • 37% have organised new business meetings in markets where they don’t have an existing presence.
  • 48% of respondents have attended international events to raise their profile and generate new business.
  • Over 10% have directly participated in trade missions run by the DIT or wider Government.

The advertising think tank, Credos, in its Advertising Pays 4 report showed in 2015, overseas revenue accounted for 35% of the top 20 agencies revenue, almost £300 million in exports. This study will be updated and undertaken annually/biennially to track change.

How to get involved with Promote UK:

All UK advertising and marketing businesses looking to be a part of Promote UK should visit and register their interest. The Promote UK site will also provide full details on the group’s work with DIT at industry events around the world, as well as advice and guidance for businesses seeking to learn more about exporting advertising services successfully.


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