UK ad exports up a third to hit £15bn

Britain may be at the bottom of the productivity league and top of the inflation one but good old adverts are doing their best to drag the country out of the economic mire.

Industry body the Advertising Association, which represents advertisers, agencies and media owners, reports that exports to the rest of the world grew by 32.5% in 2022 to reach £15bn, the highest level since pre-lockdown 2018. The figures include advertising and market research services. Imports reached £12bn, a positive trade balance of £3bn, unusual for a UK industry.

The US remains the largest recipient of UK exports, receiving £3.9bn worth of advertising and market research services, – a value that has more than tripled since 2020. This is followed by Germany (£1.36bn billion) and then Ireland in third place (£894 million). The top 10 recipients of UK advertising are largely EU countries with a new entry from Australia at 7 receiving exports worth £538m.

Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch says: “The advertising industry is one of the UK’s strongest exports and these record figures provide a great boost as we aim to sell £1 trillion of goods and services a year to the world by the end of the decade. I look forward to working closely with the industry to help businesses expand into new markets and help drive further economic growth in the years ahead.”

AA CEO Stephen Woodford says: “It is terrific to see such strong growth figures from the UK’s world-leading advertising and marketing services, showing the innovative way our industry has responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic. We prepare now to support the next decade of UK advertising growth, through our productive partnership between the industry, through the UK Advertising Exports Group, and the Department for Business and Trade.

“As the UK Government sets out its ambitions to become a science and technological superpower, we should not forget the UK is already a creative superpower and our recent success at SXSW demonstrates how our industry can continue to play a key part in UK export growth.”