UK Advertising Industry launches Export Month


This March, the Advertising Association – alongside partners from its Promote UK group, including the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the IPA – is coordinating the biggest effort yet to showcase UK advertising services to international audiences. Dubbed Export Month, it will feature a wide programme of activity with the aim of promoting the UK’s advertising services to key markets around the world.

Landmark moments already planned for the month-long celebration include:

  • The first annual UK Ad Exports Report – With research from the advertising industry’s think tank Credos, the report will track the performance of the UK advertising industry and will highlight the latest figures for exports of ad services – an area where the country has traditionally performed strongly. The report will measure the country’s recent exports performance; feature case studies from advertising services exporters; and gauge industry sentiment as the UK leaves the EU.
  • Shanghai International Advertising Festival (SHIAF) – Taking place from 4-8 March, SHIAF will feature a unique forum to highlight UK advertising expertise to Chinese brand marketers. A delegation of UK agencies and production companies, led by Promote UK chair, Janet Hull and Advertising Association Chief Executive, Stephen Woodford, will be heading to Shanghai to meet Chinese agency peers and brands and explore new opportunities to grow links and business. In a further show of the UK advertising presence, the festival, now in its second year, will include an increased number of judges, entries and speakers from the UK across the week.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) – For the first time, UK advertising will have its own day at SXSW, taking over the British Music Embassy on 8 March in activity backed by DIT. Curated by the IPA as part of its Promote UK work, a variety of UK businesses will be presenting to festival-goers on their areas of creative expertise. Companies taking part include Hey Human, System One, Karmarama, Crowd, and Iris. The ensuing trade show on 10-13 March will include demonstrations of global campaigns that UK businesses have created for clients from around the world.
  • APA’s Tokyo-London Forum 2019 – Supported by DIT, the Advertising Producers Association (APA) will be taking a delegation of companies to Japan, the third largest advertising marketing in the world between March 11-14. Around 40 companies from the industry will meet with senior leaders from Japanese agencies and showcase skills in advertising production and post-production.
  • Advertising Week Europe – This year, Europe’s key gathering of marketing and communications leaders will be taking place from 18-21 March, just over a week before the scheduled date for Brexit. The Advertising Association, in partnership with DIT and the IPA, will be hosting one of the week’s highly anticipated Breakfast Leadership events at Ronnie Scott’s on 19 March. The topic of discussion will be how UK advertising can work together to build exports in a post-Brexit landscape, support the UK Government’s soft power strategy and contribute to the wider trade agenda.
  • Cannes 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, Department for International Trade, Channel 4, Clear Channel, Framestore and M&C Saatchi, the competition will identify UK’s rising creative talent to do battle on the world stage.
  • Export Accelerator – Recruitment of test users will open in March for a new online resource funded by the Department for International Trade to help UK advertising businesses create their export strategy. It will be a one stop shop with advice on how to do more effective business overseas as well as listing upcoming opportunities to attend overseas markets and missions.
  • Celebrating excellence in exports – All UK advertising businesses will be encouraged to share their exporting stories across the industry and to contribute to Export Month with their own activities.
  • Promote UK Year One celebrations – Export Month’s end date coincides with the first-year anniversary of the formation of Promote UK, a group designed to support the UK advertising industry’s export ambitions. The month will culminate in a celebration of the group’s achievements in its first twelve months.

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said: “The UK stands at an important crossroads in its relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. Export Month will act as a celebration of what we do best in UK advertising – a multi-national workforce servicing a global client-base via a winning combination of creativity, innovation and technological expertise. This programme will showcase these strengths like never before and we welcome all those businesses with export ambitions to join in.”

Janet Hull, Chair of the Promote UK group and Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA, commented: “A tremendous amount of effort, from industry and from UK government, is coming together in March as we showcase UK advertising services around the world. I’m hugely proud of the work being done and believe that this is just the start of what we can all do as an industry to build a strong trading future for our creative industries.”

All businesses interested in taking part in Export Month can contact Promote UK via the Advertising Association and join in on social channels using #CreativityIsGREAT.

The UK is an advertising exporting powerhouse, with British advertising services worth £5.8 billion according to the last available figures for 2016. The figures showed an increase of 35% and the UK’s balance of payments surplus for advertising was the biggest in Europe – £2.9 billion. The UK also wins more Cannes Lions advertising awards per capita than any other country, with over 1,500 won since 2005 and leads the way for the best creative and most effective advertising campaigns.