Agencies welcome IAB's move North to Manchester for Digital Britain event

Digital marketing agencies across the North of England have welcomed the decision by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to use Manchester as the host city for its forthcoming Digital Britain conference in April, during which it will reveal the full year findings of its Digital AdSpend 2013 study.

The IAB's Stuart Aitken recognises Manchester strength in digital marketing

This marks the first time that the IAB has not used London to reveal the findings of its Digital AdSpend study since it first began to conduct the twice yearly research back in 1997.

The IAB/PwC Adspend study shows the value of digital advertising spend in the UK for the past year and the results highlight the size of the display, search and classified markets across online, mobile and tablet platforms. The research also shows which industry sectors spend the most on digital display advertising and analyse trend data which identifies the fastest growth areas within digital advertising.

Speaking of the IAB’s decision to head north for the first time to Manchester, Nick Rhind of CTI Digital said: “The decision of the IAB to release their yearly adspend figures here in Manchester shows how Manchester and the North West is a key region in the digital sector for the UK & wider economy. Putting this with having the BBC joining Manchester and with its digital reach and spend have brought even more focus to Manchester. It used to be if you were in the North West you opened an office in London. Now many London agencies are opening offices in Manchester which goes through digital, advertising, PR and finance.

“From MIDAS, the city’s inward investment agency, recently estimated that the creative and digital industry accounts for approximately £5.4bn of Greater Manchester’s GVA growth and earmarked the sector as the second biggest growth area for the region, behind only financial services. What’s more, the creative and digital sectors are expected to bring an estimated 23,000 new jobs to Greater Manchester – a growth of 13 per cent - over the next decade.

“Manchester is the place to be in digital growth. We now have a great start-up community here, with seed funding through to full funding from number of groups. This will help facilitate expansion and growth of successful companies to current and future offshore markets. The next thing Manchester needs to do to help this transition is have the people to fill the new Jobs so funding needs to be given to schemes to help increase the talent pool available. We need Manchester to stay competitive to get to the next point of its transformation”

Managing director of The Drum Network’s Digital Agency of the Year Cube3, Karl Barker, said: “The digital economy in Manchester continues to go from strength to strength, so it's great that the IAB are unveiling the digital advertising spend figures here, outside of London for the first time, where the industry is setting new standards in digital innovation.

The Digital AdSpend results will be revealed as part of the IAB’s full-day Digital Britain conference being held at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, which will also see presentations from leading IAB members including Google, Quantcast, DigitasLBi, Twitter, Affiliate Window and Unruly Media.

Outlining the reason for the move to Manchester, Stuart Aitken, editorial manager at the IAB, wrote in a recent blog: “The city has also always been a strong media hub, the birthplace of organisations like the Manchester Guardian, Granada TV and the Manchester Evening News - the natural extension of this being the BBC’s recent decision to set up its second home in Salford’s Media City.

“Manchester’s historically strong agency scene coupled with the presence of huge, world famous brands within the city and its outer environs has ensured that it has also long been a centre of world class creative communications. With the growing role of digital in the media mix, this reputation is growing.

“As evidence of Manchester’s position as a thriving digital and creative media hub, MIDAS, the city’s inward investment agency, recently estimated that the creative and digital industry accounts for approximately £5.4bn of Greater Manchester’s GVA growth and earmarked the sector as the second biggest growth area for the region, behind only financial services. What’s more, the creative and digital sectors are expected to bring an estimated 23,000 new jobs to Greater Manchester – a growth of 13 per cent - over the next decade.”

Tickets to the Digital Britain event are now on sale and available from the IAB's website priced at £99+VAT for IAB members and £149+VAT for non- members.

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