Ad industry sets out Brexit demands as 2016 spend figures beat expectations

William Turvill
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June (Source: Getty)

The advertising industry has today set out its Brexit demands as new data shows it contributes £120bn annually to the UK economy.

The Advertising Association (AA), which has also published figures showing ad spend survived the Brexit vote last year, wants the UK’s strength to be preserved and also for EU red tape to be scrapped.

Figures from the AA and Warc today show that UK advertising spend grew 4.2 per cent in the third quarter of last year, defying expectations after the EU referendum.

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The AA has today also published the results of a report from think tank Credos and Deloitte, showing the industry contributed £120.4bn to GDP in 2015, and supports more than 550,000 jobs.

The report surveyed 200 advertising businesses on Brexit, finding 22 per cent had lost business or contracts since the vote and 62 per cent felt the decision had negatively affected their business’ outlook.

Some optimism was also found, with 23 per cent seeing Brexit as an opportunity and eight per cent saying they have increased UK investment since 23 June.

The AA has also today set out its demands for the government in its Brexit negotiations, including preserving the UK’s competitive position as a global and European hub for advertising and media businesses.

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The body also wants the government to develop a “workable and effective EU and global immigration policy” so talent can continue to be brought in and consider, in the longer term, what EU rules “constitute red tape to be lifted” after Brexit.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the AA, said: “Ad spend 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.”

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