UK agencies must adapt ‘or lose out to foreign firms’

UK advertising agencies need to stop assuming that clients will mindlessly buy in to the “cult of the creative director”, according to a new report looking at the UK’s creative industries.

Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), says: “The UK creative industries need a step-change where creative excellence and commercial success are recognised equally as the key to a successful creative business.

“We are in danger of losing out to new creative centres that are pursuing aggressive strategies to develop their markets.”

The NESTA report – Creating Growth: How the UK can Develop World Class Creative Businesses – looks at advertising; design; film; music; television; and computer and video games.

Advertising, it concludes, is in an uncertain state. Clients are questioning established ways of doing things and margins are under pressure. UK advertising must adapt, and must “retain its creativity”.

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