Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has told the UK’s advertising and marketing communications professionals that the current Government considers its work to be one of the UK’s “major success stories” and also “vital for the success of the UK.” Speaking at the Advertising Association’s LEAD 2017 conference on January 26th 2017, she reassured her audience that advertising and marketing has the full support of the Government and encouraged the industry to make its voice heard in the process of planning Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Bradley went on: “I want to be clear that the government has never seen you as peripheral. Our aim is to forge new relationships while remaining open to international talent. But I’m conscious that UK advertising feels that certain aspects of EU wide co-operation have been helpful but also that certain legislation is harmful. I want to hear from you on the opportunities and limitations of success as we approach our negotiations. And as we engage in negotiations with the EU, the advertising industry can help us make the case by providing us with data and knowledge.”
Carey Trevill, Managing Director of the Institute of Promotional Marketing, was in the audience. She says: “We heard a speech designed to calm and support the marketers in the room. Bradley spelt out clearly the benefits of British advertising and the fact that the special position we hold as ‘best in the world’ positions the U.K. advertising and marketing industry as critical to a successful Brexit.”
According to the latest figures from the influential AA/WARC Advertising Expenditure survey, marketing spend grew 4.2% in the third quarter of 2016, following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Recent research by advertising think tank Credos and consultants Deloitte shows that advertising contributed £120.4 billion to GDP in 2015, and supports over 550,000 jobs.
The Advertising Association used LEAD 2017 – which targets senior leadership in advertising and marketing agencies, media owners, brand owners and related sectors – as a platform to outline the priorities for the UK’s advertising and marketing industry for Brexit:
- Safeguard the UK’s competitive position as an important global and European hub for advertising and media businesses.
- Establish a workable and effective EU and global immigration policy to help UK advertising to continue to attract global talent, and address the skills shortage through education policy.
- Negotiate the UK’s position on various media and advertising-related EU rules and ensure as much market access as possible, through equivalence in UK law.
- Adopt a non-interventionist domestic regulatory approach to the advertising industry to provide market certainty and advertiser confidence and support its advertising self-regulation system through the ASA.
- In the longer term, consider what EU rules constitute red tape to be lifted after the UK has left the EU.
Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive Officer of the Advertising Association, comments: “Ad spend serves not just as an established bellwether for the wider economy, but is a driver of jobs and GDP growth, so negotiating the best possible terms for UK advertising should be a priority as Government engineers our exit from the EU.”
The IPM’s Trevill agrees. “With so much change hitting the world – let alone the industry – week after week, being central to the conversation with government is crucial.”
LEAD 2017 also focused attention on the London-centric nature of the UK advertising and marketing industry, with many speakers suggesting that marketers need to look beyond London to understand the wider business and, more importantly, the consumer view. Trevill comments: “The message was clear – the communications industry needs to burst the London-centric bubble we’ve been operating in for too long and engage with people across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. I’d argue that the IPM is already doing that, with so many of our key members based in other regions of the country.”
As part of its commitment to engaging with its members outside London, the IPM will be attending the Prolific North Live Expo on February 15th and 16th at EventCity Manchester. The Expo is free to attend and the IPM is inviting members and non-members alike to drop by its stand (105). If you want to make an appointment, then please do so by email to Carey.firstname.lastname@example.org.