Justin Cooke, CEO of Fortune Cookie and Chair at British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) shares his views on the UK's digital sector and highlights the growth of his own online business over the last 12 months.
My history teacher Mrs Norris taught me that this country was pretty good at inventing things that changed the world. Harrison’s chronometer allowed our ships to dominate the seas; Maudslay’s precision machine helped us become the workshop of the world; Trevithick’s locomotive laid down the foundations for mass transit; Charles Babbage who originated the programmable computer; Logie Baird who first transmitted images across the airwaves, creating television; Whittle’s jet engine which revolutionised post-war air travel...
Fast forward to 1990 and Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World-Wide-Web, without which much of the last ten years of global economic development would have been possible. On top of countless others and in parallel to the above, over the past millennia Britain has also happened to lay down much of the legal, financial regulation and market structures upon which the world turns. As we all prepare to face down a winter of frozen budgets and a crumbling continent I have come to believe that it is now the turn of the British creative sector to do what others have done before us; innovate and trade.
12 months ago my agency Fortune Cookie had one office in London, now we have five and we’ll be adding three more in next to no time. In quarter two of 2011 more than 1.5 billion people from 195 countries visited our work. Our revenue has grown 60% and 65% of income is paid in US and Australian Dollars, Dirhams, Euros and Zlotys.
What I have learned along the way is that Britain is a world leader in the provision of marketing services and that we offer great value for money. For starters we were born to trade – it’s in our genes, as a nation of nations we speak more than 300 languages. With GMT time is on our side, in fact we’re pretty much slap bang in the middle of the world allowing us to catch-up and get ahead. From a financial perspective exchange rates have never been better to sell our services and while the UK is the world’s 147th fastest growing economy, we can export our world-class capabilities to markets going through explosive growth; the rocket fuel powering the next billion consumers.
We have come to believe that building a global agency is our destiny and our duty and I hope that in some small way we are ensuring that Britain remains great.