UK no.1 in europe for ad services


The UK's balance of payments for advertising services is no.1 in Europe, according to an Advertising Association report.

The report estimates that the UK’s balance of payments for advertising-related services (the difference between exports and imports) is the highest in Europe at £1.6bn, second globally only to the United States (£2.7bn) and five times the French figure (£327m).[1]

The AA is also predicting an increase in UK advertising’s £4.7bn contribution to national exports of 54% over the next five years – growth of £2.5bn.[2]

The data is published alongside a  report, Advertising Pays 4: The export and global impact of UK advertising, by advertising’s think-tank Credos, which examines the sector’s role in narrowing the UK trade gap.

According to DCMS figures, most UK advertising services are exported to Europe (61%), followed by North America (27%) and Asia (11%).[3]

James Murphy, Chairman of the Advertising Association and Founder and CEO, adam&eveDDB says: “It’s time UK advertising was recognised as a massive export success. The new data is proof that world-beating talent, award-winning creativity, digital leadership and a gold-standard self-regulatory model have built UK advertising into an exporting powerhouse that will continue to deliver for the economy.”

The report, launched ahead of Advertising Week Europe and UK Trade & Investment’s Exporting is GREAT Week also examines UK advertising’s global influence and finds:

  • UK companies have won more Cannes Lions (the world’s leading awards for advertising creativity) in the last decade than any other country, apart from the United States; the number of Cannes Lions won by the UK increased by over 90 per cent between 2010-15
  • The UK is an advertising talent powerhouse, attracting top international talent to its industry; home-grown talent is also making an impact in foreign markets, especially in senior leadership roles
  • The Advertising Standards Authority is the largest and best-resourced advertising self-regulatory organisation in the world and its structure serves as a role model for other countries, such as Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.

Advertising Pays 4 is the latest chapter in a series, showing advertising’s contribution to the UK economy. Previous reports have shown how every pound spent on advertising returns £6 to UK GDP, a total of £100bn in 2011. According to the AA/Warc Expenditure Report – the definitive measure of advertising activity in the UK – adspend will break the £20bn barrier this year.

Karen Fraser, Director, Credos says: “The latest Advertising Pays chapter has the data and case studies to make policy makers sit up and take note of what advertising does for the UK economy, in terms of both raw export power and British soft power overseas.”

[1] United Nations Service Trade Statistics Database (2013)

[2]  Forecasts based on Office of National Statistics (ONS) data,  provided by Landman Economics for the Advertising Association

[3] Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2015), Creative Industries: Focus on Exports