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/ June 9th 2020 / Matthew Evans
Exports and International Trade

The UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG), a UK advertising industry marketing partnership with UK Government, is launching a Summer Showcase to profile the country’s leading advertising and marketing service companies. Developed by UKAEG members, it will be rolled out around international industry events including Createch @ CogX and the Shanghai International Advertising Festival as part of an extensive summer showcase for the industry. Planned activities, developed in consultation with UKAEG member and events specialist, Brandfuel, include virtual exhibition booths, roundtables, discussions, keynotes, best practice presentations and socials, all geared to connect UK companies with international buyers of advertising and marketing services.

Backed by the Advertising Association, the IPA, the APA, the DMA, London & Partners and the Creative Industries Council, the Export Group features close to 50 members drawn from across the UK’s advertising and marketing services industries. It is supported through the industry’s partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), which is backing the initiative with funding and support for the UK’s creative industries as they deal with the challenges brought about by Covid-19.

Already confirmed for the showcase during June and July are:

  • Two virtual trade missions, the first of which takes place this month bringing all the members to Createch@CogX where they will share the stage with speakers including the BBC’s new Director-General, Tim Davie, and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
  • All members of UKAEG will feature in the Createch mission in a virtual exhibition booth while MBA, Across the Pond, VCCP, Guinness World Records, FX Digital, Nexus, Happy Finish, Thomas Thomas Films, Crowd and Digital Detox all appear on stage during the event.
  • There will also be a BTS (Behind the scenes) social campaign to highlight the production work (and that production is back to work) for UKAEG’s speakers and event partner, Brandfuel.
  • A series of 10-15 virtual events from mid-June to September with likely tie-ins with Lions Live – the virtual festival that is replacing Cannes Lions. This includes knowledge-sharing sessions and networking with our members and Cannes Lions delegations from Japan, South Korea, Germany, the US and Australia. Key sessions are being developed around Industry Recovery Post Covid-19, Trust in Advertising, Inclusion, Climate, Talent and more.
  • The second mission in July will see companies participate online in the Shanghai Advertising Festival (SHIAF), where the UKAEG team is working closely with the SHIAF events team and the DIT’s China office to achieve maximum profile for UK advertising. Participating companies include 360exec, Across the Pond, adam&everywhereDDB, Agency Inc, Brandfuel, Crowd, Feref, Four Communications, Guinness World Records, MBA, Ping Pong Digital, Pulse Films, Qumin, Talent Republic and VCCP.
  • Building on relations with the Chinese market specifically, ten companies from China will join UKAEG on a virtual mission organised with SHIAF and six speakers from Shanghai will speak across the three days at the Createch stage.
  • An industry roundtable for UKAEG members with the China Advertising Association and a select group of Chinese brand marketers and agencies.
  • Further activities will be announced for August and September as the UK (and international) lockdown eases. Any companies interested in getting involved should contact the Advertising Association to find out more.

Janet Hull, Chair of UKAEG, Member Creative Industries Council, and IPA Director of Marketing Strategy commented: “Our new Summer Showcase is just the start of our plans for UKAEG to make the very most of the new, emerging opportunities to connect and network with international buyers through online events such as Createch at CogX, alongside a return to being present on the ground at events as and when the lockdown fully eases. What we are seeing is a tremendous amount of creativity, ingenuity and technological prowess to ensure that our UK advertising sector can fully connect and engage with international buyers wherever they, and we, may be geographically. All of which is backed by our fantastic new advertising campaign, developed by our member, adam&eveDDB, in what has been a truly collaborative effort by everyone in the group.”

Steve Davies, Chief Executive, Advertising Producers Association, said: “This is a great showcase for the talent in the UK advertising industry – talent that will be key to bringing post Coronavirus prosperity back to the UK. All credit to the brilliant work by the companies in our group to show that, despite the Covid-19 crisis, creative and effective advertising work can still be produced and delivered. The APA COVID Shooting Guidelines have given advertisers confidence that our production capabilities here in the UK can deliver everything they need to help their businesses connect with their customers – and safely.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said: “It is vital we do everything we can to support trade with our international partners, particularly during this hugely challenging period for the UK and global economy. After a decade of consistent growth in our export figures, we must work doubly hard to protect UK advertising’s position as a global hub for advertising and marketing services and, by doing so, help protect jobs across our industry. We must show we are open for business and fully ready to deliver creative and effective work for customers from around the world.”

The Summer Showcase follows on from the appointment of Aisling Conlon as the UKAEG’s marketing manager. Moving swiftly to deal with the cancellation of global industry events such as SXSW and Cannes Lions due to Covid-19, members of the group have helped shape the campaign, the showcase content and are also feeding into the development of an online tool to support the development of a bespoke export strategy and a new PWC report.

Annual UK exports of advertising services reached a total of £7.9 billion in 2018 according to the latest ONS figures, a 15% increase as the industry overtook Telecommunications and Engineering services to become the second largest services for exports behind Computer Services. £3.7bn worth of advertising services were exported to EU nations, accounting for 53% of overall advertising exports. The percentage of all UK advertising exports going to Europe, including both the EU and non-EU countries, was 55%. The USA is the largest market for UK advertising services in terms of individual country exports. In total, the USA purchases £1.1bn worth of UK advertising services. The USA is followed by Germany (£1bn), France (£733m), Switzerland (£661m), and Ireland (£640m).


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