A new report has revealed that in 2017, international trade in the UK advertising services reached £6.9bn.
Data compiled by the Advertising Association showed an overall rise in exports of 18% from the year prior, a double-digit boost far in excess of UK service exports as a whole, lagging behind on seven per cent.
The figures were buoyed by a strong performance in Europe where the export value of advertising services has almost tripled since 2009 to £3.8bn, the equivalent of 55% of all exports.
The figures reveal advertising is now a bigger export industry than legal services -£5.1bn- and insurance -£3.1bn-, the same size as telecoms -£6.9bn- and not far behind computer services -£9.5bn- and engineering -£7.8bn-.
James Murphy, chief executive at ad giant Adam & Eve DDB commented,
This new report demonstrates the strength of the UK as a global exporter of advertising services. To have reached almost £7bn in exports and more than tripled the value of overseas trade in the past ten years testifies to the creativity and entrepreneurial approach that is a hallmark of UK advertising.
As we approach Brexit it is crucial that we champion our industry on the world stage and pursue bold policies in key areas like being open to overseas talent, ensuring a complementary regulatory environment and continuing to develop a strong exporting strategy.
Working with the Ad Association, Credos surveyed 120 UK ad and marketing businesses for the report and it found that 87% generate income from outside the UK, with overseas clients accounting for an average of 31% of revenue.
Hence, the City AM reports the figures also highlight the importance of EU markets for the industry in the run-up to Brexit, with the £3.2bn exported to EU nations representing 55 per cent of all total exports.
The main importance is, it figures that the strong performance was driven by small and mid-sized firms, not the giants, referring well for future growth.