The Advertising Association promotes the role and rights of responsible advertising and its value to people, society, businesses and the economy. We represent UK advertisers, agencies, media owners and tech companies on behalf of the entire industry, acting as the connection between industry professionals and the politicians and policy-makers.


The Advertising Association focuses on major industry and policy areas that have huge ramifications on UK advertising. This section contains our work around Brexit, HFSS and gambling advertising, data and e-privacy, trust, the digital charter and our Industrial Strategy campaigns.

Credos is the advertising industry’s independent think tank. It produces research, evidence and reports into the impact and effectiveness of and public and political response to advertising on behalf of UK advertisers in order to enable the industry to make informed decisions.

Front Foot is our industry’s member network of over 50 businesses across UK advertising. It aims to promote the role of responsible advertising and its value to people, society and the economy through a coalition of senior leaders from advertisers, agencies and media owners.

We run a number of events throughout the year, from our annual LEAD summit to the Media Business Course and regular breakfast briefings for our members. We are also the official UK representative for the world’s biggest festival of creativity – Cannes Lions.

UK advertising exports report 2019

Exports and International Trade UK Industrial Strategy

The UK ad industry now exports £6.9 billion, an increase of 18% on the figures for 2016, and has the largest trade surplus in Europe. Those figures, from our first annual UK Advertising Exports Report, make plain the extent to which the UK’s advertising creativity and effectiveness are valued on the world stage.

“The number one reason clients give for choosing a London agency is that this city is a magnet for global talent”

– Tom Knox, Executive Partner, Mullenlowe

As we approach the end of the beginning with regards to the UK leaving the EU, the advertising industry acts as a good indicator that any industry with world-leading skills, knowledge and knowhow is highly attractive even during uncertain political times.

In addition to featuring a wealth of facts and figures on the growth of UK advertising exports, the report also features case studies with British businesses producing work for clients around the world and agenda-setting statements from industry leaders including Kerry Glazer and James Murphy.

Request your copy now, and read the full release below:


London, March 19, 2019: The Advertising Association has today published UK Advertising Exports Report 2019 – the industry’s first-ever annual exports tracker – showing international trade in UK advertising services reached £6.9 billion in 2017. This is an 18% increase on the figure of £5.8bn registered in 2016, outstripping overall UK service exports which grew by 7% in comparison.

The UK’s balance of payments surplus for advertising was the biggest in Europe – £3.8 billion, while the export of advertising services has nearly tripled in less than a decade, up from £2.4 billion in 2009.

The data also demonstrates the continuing importance of EU markets ahead of Brexit, with the £3.2bn exported to EU nations representing 55% of advertising exports. The percentage of all UK advertising exports going to Europe, including both EU and non-EU countries, was 59%.

The new report comes as the UK advertising industry marks its first Export Month to support the UK’s role as a global hub for advertising. The programme of activities, in partnership with the Department for International Trade, has included trade missions to the Shanghai International Advertising Festival, SXSW in the US, and to Tokyo in Japan, as well as a Leadership Breakfast at Advertising Week Europe in London.

James Murphy, Exports Champion, Advertising Association and Group CEO, adam&eveDDB commented:

“This new report demonstrates the strength of the UK as a global exporter of advertising services. To have reached almost £7 billion in exports and more than tripled the value of overseas trade in the past ten years testifies to the creativity and entrepreneurial approach that is a hallmark of UK advertising.

“As we approach Brexit it is crucial that we champion our industry on the world stage and pursue bold policies in key areas like being open to overseas talent, ensuring a complementary regulatory environment and continuing to develop a strong exporting strategy. Looking to the future, this report stands a timely reminder of how we excel as an industry – by being open, global and fearless in the face of competition.”

Elsewhere, the report includes the findings of a new survey of advertising businesses also conducted by UK advertising think tank, Credos, which sheds further light on how the industry is generating income from overseas. In all, 120 providers of advertising and marketing communications services responded, representing over £1 billion in turnover. Nine out of ten (87%) businesses surveyed generate income overseas, with overseas clients accounting for an average of 31% of revenue where known.

High levels of export activity were not limited to large companies, with both small and medium sized companies generating a similar proportion of their revenue from exports. Meanwhile, over a third (35%) of businesses surveyed claimed to operate as a regional or global hub for their clients, reflecting the UK’s role as Europe’s advertising capital.

Most businesses surveyed (65%) participate in overseas events, with the most popular activities being sales visits and trade shows. Nearly one in five (18%) have taken part in Department for International Trade (DIT) trade missions – up from 12% in 2017. A minority but nonetheless significant proportion of businesses surveyed reported taking part in no overseas events (35%). These businesses were exclusively SMEs.

Janet Hull, Chair, Promote UK and Director of Marketing Strategy, The IPA said:

“This report is the culmination of our Promote UK group’s month-long celebration of UKadvertising’s exporting success and is one that we hope will become an annual fixture on the advertising calendar.

“At the heart of our success as an advertising exporting nation are the businesses and the people working in our industry right across the country. As such, this report includes a number of effective real-life examples of how UK advertising’s creative minds are servicing a global client base. I would encourage any business that shares our vision for UK advertising’s place on the world stage to get involved in Promote UK and join us in our mission.”

Eight out of ten (80%) businesses surveyed employ non-British nationals, supporting the findings of previous Credos research in its Advertising Pays 6 report which has shown the UK advertising industry to be a magnet for global talent. This figure was even higher among businesses surveyed in London, with nine out of ten (90%) employing non-British nationals.

The reports also includes case studies on exporting activity from a host of UK advertising businesses, including ABOVE+BEYOND, adam&eveDDB, Crowd, DAZN, Framestore, Jellyfish, MBA, and Nexus Studios.

For further information, please contact:

Matt Bourn, Director of Communications

Matthew Evans, Communications Manager

Tel: 020 7340 1100

Download our UK Advertising Exports Report 2019
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Compared to the previous year, the value of advertising exports in 2017 represents an
increase of

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