One week after the UK voted to leave the EU, direct marketing bosses are insisting the sector is in a strong position, despite reports that some clients have started to review planned activity due to the uncertainty in the market.
According to a number of industry chiefs contacted by DecisionMarketing, Brexit has triggered a rethink among some clients despite a Zenith report, published last month, which predicted that advertisers’ short-term reaction to a vote to leave was likely to be minimal.
It insisted that the damage from leaving the EU would be caused by a reduction in economic growth in the long term, and could cost the UK £70m in adspend growth each year – a total of £1bn by 2030.
But one agency chief told DecisionMarketing: “Clients are already nervous. There are fears that some sizeable projects which we had scheduled in may be put on hold. But life goes on and we must move quickly to reassure the market that our work is crucial to the success of their business.”
Another said: “The economic uncertainty is not helping. Suddenly, clients don’t know whether they will have the budget to carry out the work they have planned. But we must not talk our way into a recession even though last week’s vote has sent shockwaves through the industry.”
There have been reports that some DM businesses are already budgeting for a 5% fall in income.
However, DMA group chief executive Chris Combemale said: “The result of the EU referendum has created uncertainty for our industry. Politicians in the UK and across the EU are starting to come to terms with what the implications of Brexit might be, but clarity is something we will have to wait for.
“One thing is certain: the UK’s creative, data and digital industries will remain strong. The UK is a world leader in digital innovation and data driven marketing, creating jobs and driving growth.”
And earlier this week, Advertising Association chief executive Tim Lefroy outlined UK advertising’s concerns in a letter to the Business Secretary Sajid Javid, and Culture, Media and Sport Secretary John Whittingdale.
Lefroy said: “Advertising is the second largest creative industry, but more importantly it’s an economic activity and bellwether for the economy as a whole. Advertiser confidence should be a high priority for Government and a clear commitment to these principles would send an immediate, positive signal.”
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