Govt unveils 'Ready to trade' campaign after Brexit day

Work falls under 'GREAT' umbrella.

'Ready to trade': targeting 13 countries
'Ready to trade': targeting 13 countries

A major global campaign aimed at wooing foreign-trade partners beyond Europe has been launched by the government, a day after the UK formally left the European Union.

The "Ready to trade" campaign, under the "GREAT" banner, is being led by the Department for International Trade.

M&C Saatchi has created the multimillion-pound campaign, with media planning and buying by OMD. 

Its core message is that Britain is ready, willing and able to trade with foreign partners.

Global appeal

Activity is targeting 18 cities in 13 countries: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, São Paulo, Toronto, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Tokyo, Mexico City, Singapore, Johannesburg, Seoul, Istanbul, Dubai, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

It "seeks to deepen our relationships with future global partners", according to No10, and aims to promote the UK as the home of exceptional products and services, as well as being the best destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.

Integrated campaign

Promotional images centre on creative portrayals of the Union Jack and represent sectors ranging from advanced manufacturing and agriculture technology to artificial intelligence and renewable energy.

The integrated campaign will run across all DIT marketing and communications. It will also be promoted by trade commissioners, as well as through the DIT's attendance at numerous overseas trade events, according to David Watson, deputy director of communication and marketing at the DIT.

Aims

The work targets foreign investors and buyers in an effort to drive traffic to great.gov.uk, where they can find practical help and guidance to trade with the UK.

Its goal is to boost the UK's economic performance by increasing demand for British goods and services, as well as encouraging greater inward investment.

The first wave will run during February and March, but the DIT intends for it to become an ongoing campaign to promote British trade to the world.

Trade and investment enquiries to the DIT will be one of the metrics used to evaluate its effectiveness. Another measurement will be any positive changes to the DIT's International Traders and Investors Study, which measures international business attitudes to trading with the UK.

Mixed response

In a tweet flagging up the campaign earlier this week, Liz Truss, international trade secretary, said: "The UK will be a champion of free trade as an independent trading nation."

Her tweet prompted some 1,700 comments from people on both sides of the Brexit argument, more than 300 retweets and about 1,000 "likes".

A version of this story first appeared on PRWeek

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