‘Globalisation key for UK agencies’, says Andrew McGuiness, founder of BMB


Domestic agencies need to globalise their services if the advertising industry is to drive the economic recovery, according to Andrew McGuinness (AM) founding partner of creative shop, Beattie McGuinness Bungay.

McGuinness was speaking after think tank Credos unveiled its “The Contribution of Advertising to the UK Economy” report earlier this month. It revealed that the advertising industry makes a £15.6bn contribution to the economy, double the figure last reported by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2008.

BMB’s founding partner, who spoke at the launch of the report, explains to Pitch why the industry needs to do more to be more attractive to brands both in the UK and overseas if it is to kickstart the economic recovery.

The creative industries are collectively the second biggest contributor to the UK’s economy after tech according to a recent report by think tank Credos. But how can creative agencies tap into this to drive growth?

AM: If you project where the growth in the UK economy is going to come from over the next five years, I think the revival is likely going to come from the creative industries such as film and music more than any other sector. The advertising industry sits at the heart of these sectors, as it is a big funder of music and an active commissioner of film.

What opportunities can the UK advertising industry capitalise on to drive economic growth?

AM: The UK creative industries have a lot of strong world beating businesses that aren’t effectively being internationalised. One of the things both the government and the advertising industry needs to get better at is allowing businesses to grow globally to a point where they are large businesses and can provide significant contributions to the economy.

How can creativity help achieve this?

AM: Creativity is fundamental to agencies being able to internationalise their services. As we look at the economic base of the UK, much of the value the advertising industry creates is based on intellectual properties (IP). Creativity is shorthand for IP, which often sits at the heart of strong advertising. It’s another example of where I think the advertising industry needs to be at the vanguard of something that the wider economy needs to recognise.

How do smaller agencies that may not have the infrastructure to expand their offering overseas go about contributing to the economy?

AM: The IPA is forging stronger relations with creative industries overseas to help its member agencies expand globally. So far this year the industry body has led delegations to Silicon Valley and China. I think going out there and flying the flag for Britain in both the US and China is helping its member agencies tap into new opportunities.

How have you adapted BMB to ensure it is in the best place possible to contribute to the UK economy?

AM: We’ve recently expanded into India, which like China is a high growth market. There’s an enormous opportunity we see in the Asian market, both for domestic brands within India who we work with and also increasingly Indian brands within the UK. The challenge is going to be figuring out how to build confidence and grow the UK creative sector into a destination where brands want to spend money and can see the value of developing their brand in the UK rather than somewhere else.


If you are an agency with a great track record in delivering effective campaigns this year then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2012 Agency of the Year category – just click here

To see the best creative work from creative, digital and design agencies go to the Pitch website by clicking here

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here