Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

UK Advertising Exports Surge

At the Cannes Lions festival today, new data revealed that UK advertising exports have surged to £18 billion in 2023, reflecting a 15% rise from the previous year. This impressive figure is four times greater than it was a decade ago, as detailed by the UK advertising think tank Credos for the UK Advertising Exports Group (UKAEG). The UK is now the world’s second-largest exporter of advertising, market research, and public opinion polling services, closing the gap with the US from $4.7 billion to $3 billion.

Credos’ analysis, using the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that UK advertising exports exceed those of engineering, telecommunications, legal, accounting, audio-visual, and architectural services. The largest market for UK advertising services remains the US, which imported over £3.4 billion worth of services. Germany and France follow with imports of £1.2 billion and £1 billion, respectively. Collectively, European markets (EU and non-EU) account for 63% (£11.4 billion) of UK advertising exports.

PwC attributes the UK’s success in advertising exports to its creativity, talent, and reputation, alongside its strategic geographic position that bridges time zones between Asia and America.

UKAEG is leveraging this success at Cannes Lions with more than 30 events under the ‘Business of Creativity’ programme, designed to unlock growth opportunities. The UKAEG is supported by over 50 industry members, including the Advertising Association, APA, BPMA, and the IPA.

Julian Douglas, Chair of UKAEG and Group CEO at VCCP, emphasized the global impact of the UK’s advertising industry: “The UK’s talent for effective and innovative advertising is transforming businesses worldwide. We’re thrilled to showcase our world-leading creativity at Cannes Lions this year and celebrate our record-breaking export figures with industry colleagues and clients.”

Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association, highlighted the UK’s leading position in advertising creativity and strategy, noting the sustained growth in 2023. He stressed the importance of collaboration between the industry and the next UK government to support continued growth.

Aisling Conlon, International Trade Director for UK Advertising at the Advertising Association, underscored the significance of Cannes Lions as a platform to celebrate achievements and explore new growth avenues. She reiterated UKAEG’s dedication to maintaining the UK as the global hub for advertising excellence and innovation.

The UK has consistently been one of the top three countries awarded at Cannes Lions since 2005, winning 106 awards in 2023, second only to the USA. This demonstrates the UK’s enduring reputation for outstanding commercial creativity on the global stage.