Government backs industry trade mission to Cannes

cannes 414The UK advertising industry is putting aside its often tetchy relationship with the Government to launch a trade mission at this year’s Cannes Lions festival, as part of plans to bang the drum for Britain’s creative sector in the post-Brexit world.

The Advertising Association in partnership with UK Advertising Exports and the Department for International Trade is now opening up submissions for businesses to join the trade mission which will offer networking opportunities with multiple international markets, including Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, KSA, India and the Netherlands.

The initiative is being backed by a campaign supported by a coalition of industry partners including the APA, Clear Channel, Channel 4, Framestore, M&C Saatchi, Pinterest, and PwC, with the aim to profile the industry’s very best companies at the International Festival of Creativity.

Companies which sign up to the trade mission will receive exclusive opportunities to showcase work at roundtables as well as invites to the Creativity Rocks event on the LBB Beach which will celebrate UK advertising and the “GREAT” campaign.

The trade mission and campaign will not just be focused on adland, it will also support UK marketing services companies looking to boost revenues internationally with a range of opportunities from across the sector – from creative, ecommerce, B2B, adtech, production, social, gaming, immersive, events, and sports, among others.

The AA has often locked horns with the Government in recent years, especially over plans to ban advertising for food and drink brands high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS).

However, the Cannes Lions initiative follows the industry’s Export Month, which saw DIT support trade missions to SXSW in March and the launch of the fourth annual report tracking export performance.

UK Advertising Exports Report 2022, released in March, revealed that international trade in UK advertising and market research services was worth £11.7bn in 2020, and sustained the same level as the pre-pandemic conditions of 2019.

Despite the challenges of a global lockdown faced by exporters in the UK advertising industry, balance of payments remained steady, bringing the UK a healthy £5bn trade surplus. The report concluded that securing the next decade of growth would be critical.

Department for International Trade director of creative, lifestyle and learning Rupert Daniels said: “We are proud to ‘bang the drum’ for our superb British advertising industry through our biggest ever trade mission to the festival.

“DIT is a passionate advocate of the value of the UK’s creative offering, and a strong presence at Cannes Lions gives our most creative and cutting-edge companies the opportunity to show the world’s top influencers and buyers just how imaginative, innovative, and inspiring Britain is.”

AA chief executive Stephen Woodford added: “As UK rep for Cannes Lions, we are delighted to be launching this trade mission, which is another example of the brilliant partnership and support we have with our colleagues at DIT.

“Our research shows Cannes Lions is the number one place to do business internationally and it will be critical to the UK advertising community as we prepare to secure the next decade of our industry’s export growth.

“We want our industry to be represented in the most creatively effective, inclusive and sustainable way possible and clearly demonstrate these attributes on the world stage. For any company considering attending Cannes Lions this summer, I strongly recommend they join our trade mission to get maximum value on their time at the festival.”

For more information, please visit the dedicated Cannes Lions hub. Applications close on May 12 2022.

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