UK advertising exports reached £18bn in 2023

UK advertising exports reached £18bn in 2023
VCCP and UKAEG partnered on a campaign at Cannes 2024 to showcase UK advertising creativity. Credit VCCP.

UK advertising exports were up 15% to £18bn in 2023, according to new figures.

Analysis by UK advertising thinktank Credos for the UK Advertising Exports Group (UKAEG) found this makes the UK the second-biggest global exporter of advertising, market research and public opinion polling services.

At the same time, this growth is “closing the gap” from $4.7bn to $3bn with the US, the number one exporter of advertising services.

The US remains the largest market for UK advertising services in terms of individual country exports with more than £3.4bn worth of imported UK advertising, followed by Germany with £1.2bn and France with £1bn.

Europe, including EU and non-EU countries make up nearly two-thirds (63%) of UK advertising exports.

Examining data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Credos found that UK exports more advertising than engineering, telecommunications, legal, accounting, audio-visual, or architectural services.

“The UK has a world-leading reputation for advertising creativity, strategy and effectiveness,” said Advertising Association CEO Stephen Woodford. “Our UKAEG industry alliance goes from strength to strength and we look forward to working in partnership with the industry and the next UK government, to support a second decade of higher growth.”

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Euros tie-in

Creativity, talent and reputation were isolated as core factors for the success of UK advertising exports by PwC.

The UK is the third most-awarded country at the Cannes Lions since the tally was introduced in 2005 and the most-awarded per capita, with a total of 106 awards last year, second only to the US.

This year, the UKAEG has partnered with agency VCCP London to create a digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign aimed at celebrating the UK advertising industry’s creativity for the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity. It not only commemorates the UK’s success at Cannes Lions, but also acts a nod to the ongoing UEFA Euro Championships, drawing a throughline between the Lions as an award and the UK national team’s performance.

“Here’s to more coming home,” the tagline reads in part.

Julian Douglas, co-CEO at VCCP and chairman of UKAEG, said: “The latest export figures show that the UK are kings of Europe when it comes to advertising. We’ve also got a trophy cabinet that’s packed full of Lions, recognising the creative achievements of our current golden generation. Let’s see if we can bring a few more home this summer.”

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