London's Advertising Sector's USP
London's advertising sector has a huge impact on the UK economy. The sector reportedly generates £100bn of GDP income.* The secret to London's advertising sector's USP lies with the continued innovation and growth the industry fosters.
Creative originality is the key to a successful advertising industry, and the best measure is if customers keep returning to agencies, and revenues generated from successful advertising campaigns are substantial. Advertising has an impact on market efficiency, encouraging consumer spending, increased productivity, competition and innovation. Crucially, accountancy firm Deloitte reports that in the UK, £1 of advertising spend returns £6 to the UK economy.** It follows that GDP growth occurs after investment in advertising, and not the other way around.
Talented London Advertising Creatives
One of the strengths of London's advertising sector is investment in up and coming talent. After all, when an industry generates a significant multiplier effect on GDP, it follows that government, universities, and the advertising industry stays keen to invest in future talent and training.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller MP said at LEAD 2013, the strengths of London's advertising sector included a "... huge impact on our economy and on our reputation abroad, helping to inspire growth, investment and tourism. The creative talent that makes Britain a world leader for fantastic film and TV, amazing special effects and wonderful music, is the same talent that inspires and makes our advertising. We must nurture this talent, which is admired the world over, so that the advertising industry can realise its full potential as a key driver of economic growth."*
Big and Small Companies - Big Impact
The UK advertising industry supports 550,000 jobs, with the bulk of these located in London. This means approximately one in 50 adults in full time employment across the UK are involved in the advertising industry. Out of £16bn estimated annual revenue profits, £5bn of these are valued as internet services. This illustrates one major strength of London's advertising sector - keeping up with the digital revolution by forming innovative approaches to advertising.**
While there are a few big companies located in London, for example; Aegis Group, M&C Saatchi, Chime Communications plc, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and branches of international firms such as Young and Rubican, the majority of London's advertising sector's talent pool operate in small business units. One of the strengths of being located in London, is that it allows many small to medium enterprises to secure premises at reasonable rents near to the centre of the City of London.
The Innovation Villages
The digital advertising and marketing creatives have been noticeably adept at joining forces; renting entire warehouses and dividing them into industrial styled office units. There are several advertising mini-villages springing up across London's inner boroughs. With London reportedly housing the largest creative sector in Europe, the presence of its advertising sector's informal networks only adds to increase the attractions of working in this exciting sector. Not only do many firms in competition and co-operation work in the same locations, they benefit from sharing knowledge, networking at lunchtimes, and fostering approaches to pricing their services.
Proximity to London's Finance Industry
London's advertising sector benefits from close proximity to the financial sector. The three largest financial sectors in the world reside in London, New York and Tokyo, and it is interesting to note that the world's largest advertising sectors share these locations. The symbiotic relationship between the financial sector and the advertising sector ensures the long-term future of London's advertising sector, which is both a strength and a USP. What new graduate wouldn't want to work in an industry location championing the latest innovation across the globe, in one of the biggest three financial sectors?
London's advertising sector's industry bodies work hard to nurture growth and continued expansion. The latest advocacy programs to secure international success for London's entrepreneurial advertising companies emphasise the importance of digital advertising to the economy. There are huge moves at present to safeguard the intellectual property of advertising creatives, and the need to put a tough regime in place is a priority. Continued advocacy and a cohesive industry approach is a real strength of London's advertising sector - particularly if you are knee-deep in the action.
With such a vibrant industry at work, London's advertising sector will continue to inform, entertain and persuade us for many years to come. The vital links the sector has with the UK creative industry, the financial sector, the economic growth drivers, the education sector, and the international advertising community shows London's advertising industry has a strong future ahead.
* Source www.ipa.co.uk/News/Advertising-vital-to-GDP#.Uz1y5Fc5uQI
** Source www.adassoc.org.uk/pdfs/AdvAss_Advertising_Pays_Report.pdf