UK ad exports grow to become second-biggest sector for overseas sales

09 Mar 2020

We were delighted to be part of the Government’s initiative to encourage CMO’s from other countries to view the UK as a centre of excellence when appointing agencies. The Ad Association’s recent report features a perspective from our Managing Partner, Martin Jones:

“Despite an increasing number of very capable alternatives from across the globe, our sense is that the UK remains a centre of excellence in the eyes of brand owners from both inside and outside the country, particularly in the areas of advertising and brand consultancy, and core creative skills such as post production, editing etc.

Whilst it is unlikely that as a market we will ever get to the stage of CMOs of brand owners with quality indigenous agencies (e.g. USA, France, Spain etc.) coming to the UK to source their rosters, there are undoubted opportunities with clients based in China, the Middle east and parts of Europe, where home grown quality is not as prevalent.

Whilst the work that is already being undertaken in this area is undoubtedly creating the bedrock for future opportunities, we are already witnessing a number of brands with global agency rosters (e.g. Coca-Cola, Diageo, Mondelez and Pernod Ricard), preferring to appoint UK based agencies to their competitors from other continents when appointing agencies for new brands or refreshes. A trend that we can only see continuing.

Equally, with a plethora of world class agencies from any country from which to choose, it was gratifying that Sony PlayStation, one of the most creative companies on the planet, appointed the UK based Adam&Eve/DDB as its global agency partner.

Historically we have witnessed Amsterdam based agencies benefitting from positioning their location as being a gateway to international/global audiences because of a more “neutral” approach to audiences. Looking forward, this may be something from which we in the UK could learn in this post Brexit era, particularly as it coincides with a concerted effort towards creating a more genuinely diverse talent pool within the creative industries.

We are undoubtedly pushing at an open door in underlining the concept of the UK as being the creative equivalent of Switzerland for watches and Belgium for chocolate, and it will be ideal for all concerned when this viewpoint becomes factually correct rather than simply anecdotal.”

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MJ #1

Martin Jones

Counsel to AAR

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