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UK Advertising industry launches new export group with global campaign to drive growth

/ March 2nd 2020
UK Advertising Export Group

The UK Advertising Export Group will showcase the country’s best on the world stage, starting with a month-long celebration of the industry

London, March 2 2020: This March sees the official launch of the UK Advertising Export Group, a new UK advertising industry partnership with UK Government to accelerate profile and lead generation opportunities in key international territories including China, Japan, South Korea, North America and Europe. The Export Group, complete with a new full-time marketing manager, is backed by the Advertising Association, the IPA, APA, DMA, London & Partners and the Creative Industries Council and launches with 37 members drawn from across the UK’s advertising and marketing services industries.

The Export Group is further strengthened by the industry’s partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), which is backing the initiative with funding and increased access for UK advertising at GREAT events around the world. DIT’s involvement reflects the UK Government’s ambition to build exports of advertising services in markets identified as priorities for growth and as the country establishes new relationships with our closest markets in Europe, as well as with those further afield. This strengthening relationship between industry and Government will be crucial as the UK heads to SXSW and Cannes Lions this summer to celebrate the best of advertising from around the world.

Aisling Conlon has been appointed as the Export Group’s Marketing Manager to build the group as a crucial force in UK advertising’s growth strategy overseas. Aisling joins from the IPA, where she has been Head of New Business for the last five years, growing the IPA membership community. Before joining the IPA, Aisling spent eight years as the Business Development Manager at the Irish advertising trade body, IAPI, working alongside then CEO, Tania Banotti to revamp the Irish Effectiveness awards AdFx, launch the Doyenne award to highlight the need to position more women in senior management roles and promote young talented females in agencies. She was also integral to the move to involve the IAPI with the Cannes Lions Festival.

Aisling’s background also includes working alongside DIT to curate the first ever UK Brand and Marketing day at SXSW 2019, project managing the UK IPA/DIT trade mission to Cannes Lions 2019 and was awarded Cannes Lions representative of the year 2015.

March will also see the Export Group coordinate its first industry marketing drive to showcase UK advertising services to international audiences in a special Export Month programme of activities. Landmark moments already planned for the month-long celebration include:

  • The launch of a digital marketing campaign including online hub and social media channels to showcase the very best of UK advertising, backed by the Department for International Trade’s social media marketing team
  • The second annual UK Advertising Exports Report – With research from the advertising industry’s think tank Credos, the report will track the performance of the industry in the UK and highlight the latest figures for exports of advertising services – an area where the country has traditionally performed strongly. The report will feature an extensive range of case studies, op-eds and profiles from Export Group members all highlighting UK advertising’s exporting prowess.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) – For the second time, UK advertising will have its own dedicated presence at SXSW, which takes place March 13-22, in activity backed by DIT. The second UK Brand and Marketing day curated by the Export Group and its members will take place on March 14 presenting to festival-goers on their areas of creative expertise. The ensuing trade show on March 15-18 will include demonstrations of global campaigns that UK businesses have created for clients from around the world.
  • Cannes Young Lions UK competition – The annual search for UK advertising professionals to represent the country in the global Young Lions finals in Cannes this summer will launch in March. Backed by the Advertising Association, alongside Cannes Working Group partners, the competition will identify the UK’s rising creative talent to do battle on the world stage.
  • Advertising Association Parliamentary Reception – Taking place on March 17, the Advertising Association’s annual Parliamentary Reception will showcase the strengths of UK advertising in tackling global issues such as climate change, as well as issues surrounding diversity and health & wellbeing.
  • Advertising Week Europe 2020 – This year, Europe’s key gathering of marketing and communications leaders will be taking place from March 16-19 in London. The Export Group will be featuring in a range of events billed “UK Advertising: A Global Powerhouse” during the week, including a Leadership Breakfast at Ronnie Scott’s hosted by PwC, and a special networking lunch at Heddon Street Kitchen hosted by the Department for International Trade.

Janet Hull, Chair of UKAEG, Member Creative Industries Council, and IPA Director of Marketing Strategy commented:

“The UK Advertising Export Group is a unique cross-industry business development drive to accelerate investment in our sector from international business. Our aim is to support our members to deliver 50% revenue growth by 2023, in line with wider creative industries targets in the Government’s sector deal and safeguard the UK’s position as a global advertising hub.

“I’m honoured to be invited to chair this game-changing initiative and to welcome someone with Aisling’s experience to take the helm. I would urge any business wishing to join our programme at this crucial moment to get in touch.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said:

“Advertising is a crucial driver of exports among the UK’s creative industries and we are the acknowledged global hub for the sector, with a unique concentration of expertise and skills. As an industry, we are hugely excited to celebrate Exports Month, where we aim to showcase the very best of our industry on the world stage. This is also very timely as we enter a new era for the UK and its trading relationship with the rest of the world. It has never been more important as an industry to come together and bang the drum for UK advertising.”

Annual UK exports of advertising services are worth £6.9 billion according to the last ONS figures for 2017, an 18% increase on the prior figure of £5.8 billion outstripping overall UK service exports which grew by 7% in comparison. The UK exports more advertising services than it imports to the tune of £3.8 billion – this is the largest trade surplus in ad services in Europe. Since 2005 the UK has won more Cannes Lions than any other European country – over 1,500.

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