The Advertising Industry’s Very Own Brexit Campaign

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The principle of free movement – one of the guiding pillars of the EU – will come to an end when Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019, compelling The Advertising Association (AA) to launch their own Brexit campaign.

Outside Heathrow’s terminal five is one of many print and outdoor executions in space donated by media owners with the tagline “We’re a great advert for Britain.” It features senior industry figures who work in the UK but were foreign-born.

Protesting tighter immigration controls in a post-Brexit UK, accompanying the campaign is a report named World Class Talent, World Class Advertising, in partnership with LinkedIn.

Using the network’s data, it put the 328,000-people on the site working across the UK’s advertising and marketing sector under the microscope.

Advertising is believed to support one million UK jobs in total, and the AA writes that “The proportion of the current marketing and advertising workforce in London that migrated here from abroad in the last 12 months is three times higher than in the corresponding figure in New York; and also, higher than in Paris and Amsterdam.”

Advertising is believed to support one million UK jobs in total.

“More than a third of this talent comes from within the EU, with many others arriving from the United States and Australia.”

So what makes the UK such a pre-eminently creative nation? Well, we have the English language for starters.

It enables the fruits of our creative labor to sit closely alongside that produced by the United States in foreign markets. Like films for example.

Another reason is depth. Our creative industries are found in every region and nation of the UK and are thriving in a number of ‘creative hubs,’ such as the Titanic Quarter in Belfast and MediaCityUK in Salford. And what’s more, we are one of the few profitable exporters of music globally. We can thank Adele and Ed Sheeran for that.

Beyond Britain’s shores, UK creativity inspires the world with its stream of brilliant individuals and creative teams. Architects like Zaha Hadid, multi-faceted designers like Thomas Heatherwick and Priestmangoode, visual effects innovators Framestore and branding masterminds like Futurebrand are all examples of companies and individuals that have won the UK an international reputation.

Advertising alone contributes £120bn to UK GDP by raising the level of economic activity and boosting productivity. Each £1 of advertising spend generates £6 for the UK economy. £4.1bn of advertising is exported every year.

New immigration policies will likely take a heavy toll on our access to the diverse talent pools required to sustain this. And to me, something contradictory is occurring.

Statistics support the idea that the UK’s creative hubs continue to outstrip the growth of the general economy by a rate of three to one.

This to most is encouraging. Particularly amid the frenzy of general Brexit induced self-doubt, as well as other anxieties about the threat posed by artificial intelligence to occupations in other sectors of the economy.

You can rest easy in the knowledge that an army of emotionless sentient beings won’t be ‘taking our creative jobs’.

They will supplant many routine functions, with taxi drivers and long-haul truckers seemingly first. But you needn’t worry about robots penning books, composing songs, designing clothes, directing film and TV, or even creating award-winning ad campaigns, yet.

It would appear that creativity is thriving more so than ever before. But how will this change once the UK leaves the EU?

Openness and the diverse talent that has come with that has maintained Britain’s place at the very top of the global creative community.

Openness and the diverse talent that has come with that has maintained Britain’s place at the very top of the global creative community.

James Murphy, group chief executive of Adam & Eve/DDB and chairman of the Advertising Association, said: “The UK ad industry is a world-leader because we’re open to the world.

In March of 2017 London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan addressed the country with the meticulously thought through campaign “Britain is open.”

Up until now, we have stood as a monument to the benefits of internationalism and openness. Though now it is beholden on the government to provide some clarity as to what will happen in 2019 to ensure that creativity in the UK is able to thrive in post-Brexit Britain. Not just to ensure that the best talent doesn’t jump ship, but also, so we are to attract top talent and internationally-coveted skills too.

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