Creative Brexit Create Britain

Vox Pop: How do we convince creative investment and talent post-Brexit?


By Naomi Taylor, Client Services Manager

October 24, 2016 | 6 min read

Post-Brexit, the creative industry lives in fear of an uncertain future. Global history has been made, and the full impact of not being a part of the EU, will not be known for some time. Amid an uncertain political and economic situation that has rippled across industries globally, The Drum Network has asked its members; how can we convince investors and talent alike to continue to view Britain as a creative hub post-Brexit?

Creative investment and talent post-Brexit

Create Britain: how do we convince creative investment and talent post-Brexit?

Gellan Watt, global brand strategist, agency growth consultant and non-exec, Gellan Watt & Associates

Gellan Watt

Britain will always be seen as a creative hub - that reputation comes from decades of delivering world-beating creativity. That reputation won’t fade fast. The talent won’t leave overnight. There will be no mass exodus. And there will always be kudos in working for Britain’s best. As a nation and as an industry we do face real challenges from Brexit. We will rise to them. We always do. Frankly, we have no choice. The greatest challenge to our reputation as a creative hub and our ability to retain talent is of course the economics of doing business with us - keeping those barriers low is absolutely critical. Especially for regional agencies, working with international clients. In the meantime, we need to keep doing what we do - the best work in the world.

Jane Hovey, head of planning, Gravity Thinking

Jane Hovey

We have many reasons to be cheerful post-Brexit.


There is a poster at Gravity Thinking which says: "When governments go bad art gets good." The challenge of Brexit will create new problems for agencies and the industry to solve. As an industry in the UK we excel at coming up with creative solutions to business problems so we could get cheerful about the new creative opportunities new problems will deliver to us. There will be business challenges for brands to do more with less, to engage better with non-European markets and to reframe thinking around varying views of what being British means. We have a wonderful industry, which needs to embrace these challenges, and I look forward to the output.


When the economy is shaky there is a drive by clients to see ROI (there is proof that ROI goes up in a recession when people try and spend their way out of it but few people act on it in truth). I believe the recession of the 90’s led to the rise of data driven direct marketing and the dotcom bubble bursting led to more accountability of digital offerings. It has been reported that Brexit is already having an impact on budgets so as an industry we will need to be more accountable. Redefining success and looking closer at metrics could positive for proving the value of marketing in a post digital age full of mobile social innovations yet to prove their business worth.

Understanding consumers

Brexit was a wake up call that people are different even with research it can be easy for people in our industry to forget the lives of real people. Real people who buy the majority of products we market and use the channels we market in daily. Brexit’s reminder that everyone is not London centric and many are disgruntled with the status quo should not be ignored. Let our shock at Brexit be a constant reminder to remove our own self-reference criteria and to look closer at the people we want to engage. Helping inform our thinking to create more effective work. A more realistic view of the customer and how to engage them is a good thing for results, creativity and the credibility of our industry.

The Drum Network, Create Britain team

Britain has the same talent, the same skill set, ability and drive in the creative industry despite the decision to leave the EU. As part of Do It Day, the Drum Network are calling the industry to arms to promote just how great our talent is. From the excellent creative minds behind Gravity Thinking, Dog, Missouri Creative, That Lot and Lab, we have created the concept of ‘Create Britain’. Create Britain is an interactive digital map upon which agencies can 'claim their pin'. Agencies will claim their pin by submitting a short video on what they believe makes British creativity so brilliant.

Another, very important aspect of the Create Britain challenge is the display of inclusiveness that the creative industry must project on the global stage, to encourage overseas talent to come over to the UK. We will be asking agencies, when they submit their video on the Create Britain site, to tick a box saying they will accept an intern from overseas to work in their agency, to encourage further diversity and talent within the UK’s industry. Bringing together agencies from all towns and cities across the UK through ‘Create Britain’ will show the continued strength and diversity of the UK, as a creative force, post-Brexit

To support and safeguard the future of your industry, while raising your own business profile to potential clients and to become part of what will become an internationally recognised movement, please contact for more details.

Creative Brexit Create Britain

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