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MAY 17, 2023

Special campaign and programme of events to be supported by Advertising Association, Clear Channel UK, TikTok, BENlabs, UK Advertising Exports Group (UKAEG) and Department for Business and Trade.  

London, May 16, 2023: UK advertising and the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) are joining forces to showcase the global strengths of UK advertising as the world’s creative leaders gather at  Cannes LIONS (June 19 – 23). The partnership is led by a campaign and two trade missions to help companies take their business global from across the sector, with businesses offering services ranging from creative, e-commerce, B2B, AdTech, production, social, media, immersive, events, and sports marketing.

Companies are invited to join the trade missions, whether they are scaling quickly or just beginning to test the waters for international growth. The UK Advertising Exports Group (UKAEG) is providing the first trade mission for businesses to expand their international client rosters. UKAEG is working with partners such as the American Advertising Federation, The Marketing Society and Campaign to host several exclusive networking events during LIONS including roundtables, meet-ups, plus the GREAT global dinner to facilitate global conversations on the future of the creative economy with UK industry leaders.

Additionally for 2023, UKAEG and DBT have announced a second trade mission designed primarily for businesses who have not visited Cannes LIONS before, to provide support and guidance on how to get the best results from the world’s biggest festival of creativity.

A dedicated campaign will run in support showing how UK advertising is setting the standard for the global creative economy and the results it can deliver. It has been developed by the GREAT Global Trade campaign in association with UKAEG and will be supported online across DBT and industry channels as well as on-the-ground during the festival. The UK Advertising @ Cannes LIONS campaign is backed by industry partners including Advertising Association, Clear Channel UK, TikTok, BENlabs, UKAEG and Department for Business and Trade.  

The collaboration between UKAEG and DBT is part of a wider initiative to ensure the UK advertising industry is at the cutting edge of global advertising innovation as it prepares to secure the next decade of growth for the sector. Cannes Lions comes hot on the heels of UKAEG’s biggest trade mission yet at SXSW in Austin, Texas. For the first time UKAEG and DBT collaborated on a campaign which specifically targeted North America and showcased the work of UKAEG members to tell the story that the UK is a creative hub for advertising, creativity and innovation. Over 10,000 industry professionals attended UK House at SXSW to hear from 93 speakers representing UK advertising.

Applications to join the trade missions are now open until Tuesday, May 30th – or for more information please visit the dedicated Cannes Lions website hub here. 

David Moody, Advertising and Marketing Sector Specialist – Creative Industries, Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said: “The Department for Business and Trade recognises the value of the UK’s creative sector as proven by the recent record exports figures of £15bn in advertising and market research services (ONS data from 2021).  The figures highlighted a strong rebound from 2020 and represented a 32.5% increase in year-on-year growth. The UK’s long-established expertise in managing global brands across multiple markets supports our position as a gateway location for companies looking to go global whilst thinking local. A presence at Cannes Lions gives our most creative and cutting-edge companies the opportunity to show the world’s buyers that the UK is the go- to place to invest in creativity.”

Stephen Woodford, CEO, Advertising Association, said: As the UK representative for Cannes Lions, we are proud to be launching this trade mission, which is another example of the fantastic partnership we have with our colleagues at DBT. Cannes Lions isone of the best places to do business internationally as we prepare to secure the next decade of our industry’s export growth, following our record exports figures from 2021. We want our industry to be represented in the most creatively effective, innovative and sustainable way possible. A huge thank you to our sponsors Clear Channel UK, TikTok and BENlabs for sponsoring this year’s trade mission.”

Aisling Conlon, Director of International Trade, Advertising Association said:

The UK has dominated the Cannes Lions awards since 2005, triumphing over all other European countries with a staggering 1,855 victories to date. As a nation and an industry, we take immense pride in ranking within the top 3 winners worldwide alongside the US and Brazil. Year after year, we demonstrate our cutting-edge innovation, spearhead industry conversations and fuel the growth of the creative economy. We are thrilled to launch a trade mission in collaboration with DBT, as another demonstration of our commitment to global business growth in the advertising sector.

In April, the latest release of data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that the UK exported £15bn in advertising and market research services in 2021. The figures highlighted a strong rebound from 2020 and represented a 32.5% increase in year-on-year growth – the highest seen since Credos, the advertising industry’s think tank, began tracking the industry’s export figures in 2018. The new figures brought export value back in line with the industry’s pre-COVID trajectory, making the UK second only to the USA for exports worldwide, setting the UK up perfectly as it plans for the next decade of growth.  

If you wish to find out more about UKAEG and this year’s trade mission to Cannes Lions please contact Aisling Conlon, or visit the UKAEG website here.  

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