Britain’s advertising and marketing industries are renowned as a hub of creativity, a magnet for talent and as having an ability to export their services the world over. I want to ensure that they continue to prosper. And I believe that Britain remaining in a reformed European Union helps them to do that.
When this government came to power in 2010, we made supporting all of Britain’s creative industries a priority, and I am delighted that they have proved to be among the fastest-growing parts of our economy over the past six years – from TV production and computer-gaming to visual effects and design.
Advertising and marketing have been some of the strongest drivers of that growth. Advertising expenditure has risen every year since 2010 and was worth a record £20bn in 2015.
This country’s remarkable creative and cultural heritage, our appetite for entrepreneurship and innovation, and our willingness to embrace new ideas and digital technology are all reasons why the advertising and marketing industries are thriving. Meerkats, "Man on the moon" and "Epic strut" are just some of the ingenious ideas dreamed up by British advertising agencies in recent years that have helped to drive business success for their clients and build brands.
These talents are valued not only in our home market but also abroad, because a growing number of international businesses are using our ad agencies and media companies outside Britain.
About 35% of the revenues of the top 20 UK ad agencies are generated by overseas business. And most of their exports go to Europe.
Through the EU, access to the single market brings jobs, greater investment and lower prices. It is why Britain has increasingly become a springboard for global businesses looking to expand in Europe and beyond.
Many of the world’s biggest advertising groups, including Dentsu, Havas, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP, have invested in staff and new offices in the UK in recent years because they see their clients expanding here too. And we don’t just have unlimited access to the single market – we have a huge say over its rules. This is vital for business.
It’s not just the advertising and marketing industries that are better off inside the EU; it’s the British people, too, who benefit from the jobs and growth these sectors help to create.
Those who want to leave have no plan for life outside the EU. What would be in place of our automatic access to the single market? How would inward investment be affected? How would the industry cope with barriers? It really is a leap into the dark for a part of our economy that, right now, is shining bright.
With just 14 days until the referendum, I urge the advertising and marketing sectors to make their voice heard. EU membership is good for British brands and for Brand Britain. So make sure you vote to remain on 23 June.