The Advertising Association has published its annual UK Advertising Exports Report 2021 showing that international trade in UK advertising and market research services grew 7% year-on-year to reach a new record level of £11bn in 2019.
The figures are taken from an analysis by the advertising industry think tank, Credos, of data from the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Pink Book. The data shows advertising and market research services in third place among comparable industries in 2019, behind insurance and pension services (£20bn) and computer services (£12bn).
The US remains the largest single country importer – importing £1.1bn worth of UK advertising and market research services – consistent with previous years. France (£785m), Germany (£712m), Switzerland (£643m) and Ireland (£539m) are the next largest importers of UK advertising, market research, and opinion polling services.
The UK once again recorded a net surplus in payments, this time with a value of around £3.8bn – a trend that has persisted since 2013. However, imports rose by 58% versus 2018 meaning that the overall balance of payments dropped by 33%.
The positive trends can be explained in part by the increase in UK advertising and market research companies engaging in international activities, while the number of companies categorised as advertising and market research services has remained largely stable at around 22,700 registered enterprises since 2016.
In 2018, 37% of all registered advertising and market research companies had either exported or imported goods and services, whereas 16% had both exported and imported goods and services. In 2017 this was 25% and 15% respectively. This suggests that the increase in exports is not just being driven by the same companies increasing their volume of exports but by a higher proportion of companies seeking new markets and engaging in exporting.
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UK Advertising Exports Report 2021