Advertising exports in the UK rose by 15% to £7.9 billion in 2018, according to the latest findings from the Advertising Association as the industry enters a difficult period of uncertainty amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

The UK Advertising Export Report 2020 confirms the UK enjoyed the largest balance of payments surplus for advertising in Europe of £3.6bn, with advertising exports growing from £2.4bn to £7.9bn in the decade from 2009 – helping the advertising industry overtake engineering and telecoms to become the country’s second-biggest export sector after computer services

Meanwhile, the US remains the single largest market for UK advertising services, purchasing £1.1 billion of work services, closely followed by Germany (£1 billion) and France (£733m), Switzerland (£661m) and Ireland (£640m).

“This new report demonstrates the continued strength of the UK as a global centre for advertising and marketing services. To have jumped into second place as an export among comparable industries is a genuine demonstration of UK advertising’s strategic, creative and technological strengths,” said Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association

“It is something we should be rightly proud of. We are determined to throw all our energies into building on this position of strength to enhance the UK’s status as a world-class hub for responsible advertising that makes a valuable and trusted contribution to people, society, businesses and the economy,” he continued.

Although with ad exports in a strong position, Woodford did warn that in the wake of the current global health crisis, more than ever, the country has a fundamental role to play in supporting businesses from the UK and from around the world to keep the economy moving and support jobs and livelihoods.