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UK adspend beats Brexit expectations

News, 27 January 2017
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LONDON: UK advertising expenditure increased 4.2% in Q3 2016, the quarter that followed the country's vote to leave the European Union (EU), according to the latest figures from the Advertising Association and Warc, which are due to be published in full next week.

Released ahead of its annual LEAD conference, where Culture Secretary Karen Bradley will give her first address, the Advertising Association said the new data showed the industry is defying uncertainty caused by the EU referendum.

The trade body also published separate findings from think-tank Credos and Deloitte, the professional services firm, showing that advertising contributed £120.4bn to UK GDP in 2015 and supports more than 550,000 jobs.

With the combined findings serving to remind government of the importance of advertising to the UK economy, the Advertising Association also set out the industry's key priorities for the negotiations that are due to start in the next few months.

"Adspend serves not just as an established bellwether for the wider economy, but as a driver of jobs and GDP growth, so negotiating the best possible terms for UK advertising should be a priority as government engineers our exit from the EU," said Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association.

Included among its demands to government is the need to "safeguard the UK's competitive position as an important global and European hub for advertising and media businesses".

The trade body also wants the government to achieve an effective EU and global immigration policy to help UK advertising to continue to attract global talent.

Furthermore, the government should negotiate the UK's position on various media and advertising-related EU rules and ensure as much market access as possible.

In addition, the Advertising Association wants a non-interventionist approach when it comes to domestic regulation and, in the longer term, consideration given to what EU red tape could be scrapped after the UK has left.

It comes as the Credos and Deloitte survey of 200 advertising businesses revealed a mixed picture about their views on Brexit and its impact on their future prospects.

Around a fifth (22%) reported lost business or contracts since the vote in June while 62% felt the decision had negatively affected the outlook for their businesses.

More positively, almost a quarter (23%) of respondents saw Brexit as an opportunity for growth while 8% have increased investment in the UK.

Data sourced from Advertising Association; additional content by Warc staff

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