It cogently proves the powerful economic stimulus that investing in advertising provides. Even more intriguingly, the AA claims investment in advertising is more effective at creating growth than major infrastructure projects – a topical suggestion amid the current row over HS2. So a government under pressure to create growth may do well to listen to these arguments.
The wider context is that Britain’s current self-doubt derives from our lack of truly world-class exports. We are known to be good at making top-end cars. Luxury raincoats. Banking? Well, the less said about that, the better. But our creative industries are undisputedly world-leading. This was beautifully encapsulated in Danny Boyle’s quirky, irreverent, brilliant Olympic opening ceremony. The world looks to the UK for leadership in film, music and fashion. And then there is our thriving advertising and media sector, which continues to set global standards despite the lingering recession.
It is incumbent on all of us to strive to be more entrepreneurial, to be more creative, to be more optimistic
It is time for this sector to be more confident in what it does so well. It is incumbent on all of us to strive to be more entrepreneurial, to be more creative, to be more optimistic. And it is time the Government better recognised and supported such powerful advocates for British excellence. This is a timely reminder that advertising is responsible for about 7 per cent of overall GDP and underpins half a million jobs. And this does not even include the wider creative marketing sector, with which the lines are blurring daily.
The AA has identified useful ways in which legislators can help our industry’s desire to grow and expand internationally. These include helping SMEs, which include our ad, media and digital agencies; to avoid easy-media-win, knee-jerk regulations; and to make it easier and cheaper to shoot commercials on British soil.
The Culture Secretary Maria Miller’s comments to Campaign are encouraging. But we now need to see concrete action in this vital quest. This, along with Campaign’s redesign, is the shape of things to come.