The UK’s Advertising Association has published its UK Advertising Exports Report 2022 showing that international trade in UK advertising and market research services was worth £11.7bn in 2020, reaching the same level as the pre-pandemic conditions of 2019. This brings the UK an estimated £5bn trade surplus.
The figures come from an analysis by the advertising industry think tank, Credos, of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This shows advertising and market research services in third place among comparable industries in 2020, behind insurance and pension services (£20.7bn) and computer services (£12.9bn).
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The US remains the largest recipient of UK exports, receiving £1.2 billion worth of advertising and market research services, followed by Spain (£895m) and Germany (£877m).
The healthy figures reflect the work of the UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG) with the Department for International Trade (DIT). Through UK House it has created more than half a million contact opportunities with potential customers from 40 countries since the first lockdown in 2020. In 2021 it generated £21m worth of new business for members.
The UK is currently second in the world for advertising services exports ($13.6bn) with the US leading with nearly $22bn. Germany is third with $11.8bn according to OECD data.
Minister for exports Mike Freer says: “The advertising industry deserves recognition for its effort and hard work to maintain £11.7bn export revenue in 2020, a tremendous performance during such a challenging period.
“The advertising industry has been highly engaged with the DIT teams based globally through its UK House programme as well as in developing UKAEG’s own search and selection tool for international clients. These are a great platform to promote advertising’s ability to drive export sales and DIT will continue to provide sector and market specific support to innovative companies to help them grow internationally.”
AA CEO Stephen Woodford says: “Despite the global disruption to trade caused by the pandemic the UK advertising industry managed to maintain exports in 2020 at £11.7bn, a similar level to 2019. However, as the global economy recovers in 2021 and 2022, there are headwinds to overcome, from the effects of the pandemic on supply chains to high levels of inflation.
“This year’s UK Advertising Exports Report sets out a clarion call for our industry and Government to redouble the work together to achieve higher levels of exports, with all the benefits for jobs, growth and international cooperation these bring.”