Immigration and Stability: The&Partnership’s Johnny Hornby on Brexit Negotiations
Johnny Hornby, the founder of The&Partnership, shared concerns about Brexit on Sky News last night. The interview followed the announcement by UK Prime Minister Theresa May that the British government would publish a white paper detailing their exit plan.
Despite a 4.2% rise in adspend last quarter, Mr Hornby said the future was ‘still very much up for grabs’ and that he hoped that the government would be mindful of the factors that make British advertising such a strong force globally.
“As you know, we are exporting over 4bn of advertising services into Europe,” he said. "My own &Partnership, one of our biggest contracts in the history of our company was awarded to us last Autumn, post-Brexit, out of a French-based network into a London-based network. It’s very important for us and our industry that the government make sure that as they go into Brexit they’re very cognisant of the things we need to protect in order for us to continue to be the strong sector that we are.”
He also discussed immigration – highlighting that the ability to attract and retain international talent was a factor that made London-based agencies so appealing as regional and global advertising hubs for brands.
“I think there are a number of strengths that our industry has. Historically London grew some of the biggest advertising brands in the world, starting with the Saatchi brothers and CDP and we’ve managed to maintain that, partly because one in five people in the advertising business [in London] come from Europe or other countries, whether that’s Brazil, the US, etc. If you’re a young Brazilian creative, there’s no better place to work than at a top London agency, same thing if you’re a young German creative. I think our sell to global brands, European brands is: if you hub your creativity out of London, one of the reasons that that’s a good thing to do is not just our historical excellence in terms of creative awards, but also our ability to attract the best European talent. So it’s very important to us as an industry that as we go into those Brexit negotiations, our ability to hire one in five foreign talents from Europe and elsewhere is completely maintained.”
Looking to the future, he called for stability in terms of regulatory environments, particularly for sectors like food and gambling. He said that advertisers were looking for certainty if they were to maintain ad spend.