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Despite the fact we are oceans apart there has never been a better time for UK & USA Advertising to collaborate 

JUNE 29, 2023

A view from the UK & USA roundtable at Cannes Lions  

The advertising industry is constantly evolving, and technology plays a pivotal role in shaping its future. At this year’s Cannes Lions UK Advertising hosted a roundtable discussion between representatives from the American Advertising Federation (AAF) to discuss the future of the creative economy.  

Moderated by Reuters’ Content Director, Arif Durrani representatives from both markets were Marie Owens, Founder, LS Productions; Leonie Morton, Managing Director, Coffee&TV; Ryan Newey, Founder and CCO, Fold 7; Chris Whittle, Founder, Experience 12; Jane Asscher, CEO at 23red and VP at frog UK. Colleagues from across the pond included Marcus Harper, The Trade Desk, Inc; Tim Wang, TDW Agency; Joel Pilger, Rev Community; Christy Hiler, Cornett Agency; Jean Freeman, ZAMBEZI and Rupal Parekh, Work and Co.  

The roundtable discussion between advertising professionals from the UK and the USA shed light on the transformative impact of technology on the industry. Moderator Arif Durrani, Reuters’ Content Director, commented that “real differences and nuisances are coming to light between both markets since the pandemic in terms of hybrid working, the role of tech and how people are approaching production crews”.  The session encompassed a diverse range of topics including;

The increasing consumer reliance on digital platforms offers brands a unique opportunity to effectively engage and connect with audiences, transforming the landscape of business operations and strategies. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) were identified as game-changers in the advertising industry. The participants discussed the potential benefits of AI-powered tools in streamlining processes, improving targeting capabilities, and enhancing campaign optimization. All participants unanimously agreed that the use of technology in the industry is the main area on which the two markets can collaborate on, sharing ideas and harnessing novel uses of technology to continue powering the creative economy.   

Both markets agreed that there was still much to do to improve DEI. Marcus Harper, Trade desk noted the AAF’s Mosaic Initiative, the US industry’s preeminent think tank on diversity and inclusion which is founded on six key principles. “We believe that the future of the industry is reliant on a workforce that reflects the diversity of demographics, lifestyle, experience, and mindset of America today and tomorrow. For long-term success, the advertising industry must better represent the mixtures that together create America.”

In the UK, there is the All In programme, which conducts the annual industry survey and supporting work streams that seeks to ensure that everyone working in the advertising industry feels included. All representatives agreed that DEI was a key area where the USA and UK can collaborate more.

An area with a slight point of difference between markets was around production “there is a lot that we have in common, but it is also great to learn from the UK in relation to production and seeing if we can bring them over to the US” stated Melissa Severin, SVP, Communications at GSD&M. “We’re in the business of making the best creative work possible in an ever-compromised market. The key to success must be in the way we collaborate – honestly, honourably and with people’s best interest at heart – both our clients and our creators.” Leonie Morton, Founder, Coffee&TV

There was a lot more discussed on the day and you can find out more here

The session covered a wide array of topics from the biggest challenges companies are facing in the U.S market right now how the rapid evolution of technology is changing classic advertising and marketing business models, to how new technology can be used to connect with consumers and “UKAEG is thrilled to partner with our esteemed colleagues at the AAF to exchange valuable insights and explore best practices. The insightful discussion reaffirms our belief that technology will foster greater collaboration between the two largest advertising markets in the future.” Aisling Conlon, International Trade Director, Advertising Association.

The key topics and questions focused on how brands have adapted due to the uncertainty in recent years: how are growing brands navigating the challenges of political upheaval, pandemic, culture wars and conflict? Where do they need support and vision? Where does creativity fit in to take them forward?  “I’m honoured to be part of a global conversation about the pressing issues facing our industry today. There is no shortage of complex problems that require our attention and action. I firmly believe that through open dialogue and a willingness to listen and learn from one another, we can make meaningful progress towards a more equitable and creative future, workforce, and industry. “ Kat Thay, AAF Austin, incoming Co-President.

To find out more about UKAEG can support your UK business contact Aisling Conlon, International Trade Director, Advertising Association

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