Digital viewpoints ahead of the EU Referendum

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2016

Ahead of the EU Referendum, we’ve asked some of our members to comment about the changes that could occur within the digital landscape if we were to leave the EU, the pros & cons of our membership at the moment and what their preferred outcome would be.

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We spoke to ADventori, Sojern, Unique Digital and one major online retailer and media owner about the EU referendum.


How do you see the digital landscape changing in the UK if we leave the EU?   

Digital advertising is changing rapidly all across the world. The explosion in data means that there are more opportunities for creative approaches to marketing through personalisation and targeting than ever before.  

To take advantage of this, however, marketers need to be able to draw on a very specialised set of skills. The simple fact is that there aren’t enough data scientists, developers and creative, tech-savvy marketers in the UK alone. 

These skills are already in massive demand globally. While we can’t know for sure, leaving the EU will likely create barriers to the UK attracting talent which means we ultimately risk falling behind in the data marketing revolution.

What would your preferred outcome be and why?

As a company which was founded in France and has just recently expanded into Germany and the UK, you can probably guess that we don’t want to see the UK leave the EU.

The brands and agencies we work with are recognised globally; we are now an international business and while we build campaigns that feel hyper-local to the audience, our technology is designed to reach people everywhere.

Leaving could make it more difficult for agencies and ad tech companies like us to find the specialised skills we need. It could also create difficulties when running campaigns across markets as it becomes more complicated when dealing with data across borders.

Placing obstacles in the way of collaboration across countries is the opposite of where we see the industry going, we don’t want the UK to give up its place as a trailblazer in the space.


"At Sojern, we work with most of the world’s global travel brands on performance marketing campaigns that by the nature of digital, transcend borders. Exiting the EU and in turn, resurrecting any form of borders seems to me to be a regressive step that goes against the very nature of digital,” comments Jim Brigden, MD EMEA at Sojern. "London has long been recognised as the digital capital of Europe and there is certainly concern that Brexit could undermine this position."

"London has established a global reputation as a hotbed for disruptive start-ups and innovation and exiting the EU could result in not only that attention possibly being shifted to other cities, but also negative connotations around talent acquisition and investment.”

Unique Digital 

How do you see the digital landscape changing in the UK if we leave the EU?

The vast majority of our clients benefit from basing their EMEA and international operations from the UK. Should confidence in the UK diminish, we will lose our dominant influence and by consequence access to talent that sets Britain apart internationally.

Can you give one pro & one con of the UK’s membership in the EU?

Some pros would be the continued bonds to maintain peace, confidence, and the continued prosperity that comes from providing the strongest international entry point to the EU.
Consequences could be a loss of confidence, impact on the GBP, short-term reductions in access to the EU, reduced trading advantages from the UK for international clients, and an exodus of international talent and innovation.

What would your preferred outcome be and why?

We all benefit from a strong and dominant UK with influence and access to the EU. We would naturally prefer to remain in the EU and continue to be the preferred choice of companies around the world to centre their international operations and take advantage of the UK’s talent and expertise. 

Online Retailer & Media Owner

How do you see the digital landscape changing in the UK if we leave the EU?

Completion of Digital Single market is important both for UK businesses and multinational corporations, indeed, membership of single market has led to much Foreign Direct Investment. Additionally, the UK has more cross-border sales than any other EU country. It is wholly unclear how that would be affected outside the EU but the threat of unknown tariffs halting cross-border sales is a real concern for UK businesses.

Can you give one pro & one con of the UK’s membership within the EU?

A pro is the Digital Single Market and the single market and the slow progress towards regulatory consistency. Now is not the time for offering disadvantages.

What would your preferred outcome be and why?

Remain. For all its flaws, being part of the EU is a huge advantage to UK businesses and UK customers. As a whole, it increases choice, competition and the opportunity to test and grow innovative businesses and business models and offers the scale at which EU businesses can grow to compete with the tech start-ups that thrive in the US. A fragmented Europe would put UK tech businesses at a considerable disadvantage relative to US start-ups.


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