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The strong bond between Japan and the UK will drive collaboration and open doors to new opportunities in both markets.

JULY 11, 2023

UK Advertising, in partnership with Nikkei Japan, brought together prominent figures from the UK and Japan, to host a roundtable during Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  

Moderated by Steve Davies (Advertising Producers Association, CEO) delegates from both markets included, Mr. Tatsuro Sato (Professor of Tama Art University), Ms. Usagi Ishii (Google / Executive Creative Director), Ms. Tamaka Takefushi (ADK /Global Public Relations & Communications), Ms. Mami Koyama (Art Director and Copywriter of Dentsu), Mr.   Yosuke Suzuki (President APAC of W+K), Angus Light (Locate Productions, Co-Founder), Anne Batz (Talent Republic, Founder), and Quianna Maw (UK Advertising Exports Group, Marketing manager). 

The roundtable discussion between advertising professionals from the UK and Japan shed light on the unique perspectives, cultural insights, and shared aspirations that emerged as the advertising sectors of these two nations joined forces. Moderator Steve Davies commented “The roundtable not only showcased the global nature of the advertising industry but also emphasised the power of collaboration in shaping its future.”

The session encompassed a diverse range of topics including.

The Role of Relationships in business:  
During the roundtable, the significance of relationships within client-agency dynamics became a focal point. Steve Davies, representing the UK, emphasized the importance of knowing one’s agency well and nurturing the relationship. He stated that “a strong relationship fosters open and honest conversations, ultimately leading to a better working dynamic.” The trust and understanding developed over time enable effective collaboration and shared success. Yosuke Suzuki, noted a recent shift in the industry, moving away from relationship-based work towards a focus on solution-oriented approaches. The emphasis is placed on delivering effective solutions that address clients’ specific needs and challenges.  

Diversity & Talent:
The significance of diversity in driving innovation and creativity within the advertising industry was acknowledged. The representation of women in leadership roles emerged as a significant concern during the roundtable. With some Japanese companies reporting less than 10% of women in leadership positions, there was a consensus that progress has been slow in both countries. In the UK, the figure stands at 37.5% according to a survey conducted by the IPA. Ms. Usagi Ishii from Google highlighted the importance of “not treating diversity as a mere box-ticking exercise.” Angus Light, representing the UK, emphasized “the investment made in nurturing talent from grassroots levels, particularly within the production sector.” It was agreed by all that embracing diversity is not only a matter of equity but also a strategic imperative in a rapidly evolving and diverse industry.  

The strong bond between both markets:
The strong bond between Japan and the UK in the field of advertising is poised to drive collaboration and unlock new opportunities for UK advertising. The two countries have a long-standing history of mutual respect and cultural exchange, which forms a solid foundation for creative partnerships. The UK’s expertise in advertising, renowned for its collaboration, innovation and creativity, can benefit from the Japanese market’s unique perspectives and approaches. Moreover, Japan’s advanced technology and consumer trends provide a fertile ground for the UK to showcase its cutting-edge advertising solutions. The shared commitment to excellence and the pursuit of innovative campaigns creates an ideal environment for collaboration and knowledge sharing. As the advertising industry continues to evolve and embrace innovation, the strong bond between Japan and the UK will undoubtedly open doors to foster creative synergies, and ultimately fuel growth and success for UK advertising agencies.

In closing, Professor Tatsuro Sato’s remarked on the “enduring connection between Japan and the UK.” By recognising and embracing the unique roles each country plays in the global landscape, “we can forge a path of collective growth and progress. Moving forward together, with an open mindset and a spirit of collaboration, holds the key to a brighter future for the advertising industry and beyond.” 

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

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