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DBA and Creative Industries Federation

The DBA’s membership of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) places the design industry shoulder to shoulder with other creative and cultural sectors. This will ensure a strong and united voice across the creative industries will be heard by Government at this critical time.

Referendum Response Meetings hosted by CIF have been held nationwide this month and DBA representatives from both the management team and from our membership have been attending these events, to ensure the design industry perspective is well represented. Survey responses, alongside the issues tabled at these meetings, will feed into the development of a Brexit Action Plan and into meetings taking place in August to define further activity, on which we will keep you posted.

DBA and Associated Parliamentary Design and Innovation GroupAll-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group logo

Highly productive meetings have also been held with APDIG – the body that provides a forum for open debate between parliament and the UK’s design and innovation communities – to establish how we can most effectively work together over coming months and years to represent the interests of the design industry to Government, as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU.

In the meantime, if you or someone on your team would like to be more involved with the advocacy work the DBA is convening over the coming months – this could involve representing the DBA at working groups or meetings, or simply being on hand for opinion and views – then please email sally.lukins@dba.org.uk. We’d welcome your support.

Image credits: © Freepod Dreamstime.com Policy Connect

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Not a member, but would like to join us?

Email adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk or click here for more information on DBA membership.

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What does Brexit mean for business?

In regards to intellectual property rights, Richard Burton, Senior Associate, Trade Mark Attorney, at D Young & Co LLP outlines that, “There is no immediate or imminent change to the scope, effectiveness and enforceability in the UK of EU intellectual property rights which cover designs, brands and patents.

However, following the UK’s departure from the EU, it is likely these rights will no longer be effective in the UK. It is anticipated that transitional provisions will be introduced, enabling businesses to re-register national UK rights to co-exist alongside EU rights.

During this transitional period, we are recommending that clients review their current protection and consider filing separate UK national applications alongside any existing EU rights in order to provide greater long term certainty.”

Since the UK electorate voted to leave the EU, the DBA’s business support partner Croner has been receiving calls from clients concerned about the short and long term impact on their business. What will happen to those who employ foreign workers? Will red tape and legislation be simpler? In this briefing paper Croner considers the impact on employment and health & safety law and offers advice to those businesses which currently employ foreign workers.

Download the briefing paper here.

 

DBA members have unlimited access to a helpline providing free HR, employment and general business telephone advice, information and guidance.

The service is operated by Croner Consulting and gives you immediate access to a team of highly experienced, professional consultants who can provide practical, reliable telephone advice. The consultants can provide help and guidance on a wide range of business issues.

Login to the Members’ area for full information and contact details.

For more information on DBA membership click here or contact Head of Services adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk

Image credits: © Dimitry Kuznetsor Dreamstime.com

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Reasons to be cheerful

“Life must go on,” says business advisor Ian Cochrane, Chairman of Ticegroup, “there will be opportunities for positive thinking design agencies to help their clients to grow and thrive in this new trading environment.” Measures are being put in place to stave off recession and boost the economy, and Ian flags that there are at least three reasons to be cheerful:

  1. Borrowing should be easier moving forward and interest rates are likely to remain low for the foreseeable future. This will enable agencies to invest in staff, learning and technology to accelerate growth.
  2. Corporation tax may go down which will not only attract inward investment to the UK but automatically increase post tax earnings and the valuation of design businesses.
  3. The weaker sterling exchange rate will boost overseas sales potential.

“Agencies have a real opportunity to build and prepare their businesses ready for a possible trade sale in 3-5 years’ time,” says Cochrane.

On agencies’ financial concerns, accountants Green and Purple’s MD, Peter Carter also has some good news: those agencies who are service providers to the EU with few overhead costs in those markets, are in fact beautifully placed – they are now more competitive than a supplier in their client’s home country. “Any piece of work you quote in GBP now is worth the same to you as it was, but costs your clients less, because of the pound’s weakness, which will probably recover slowly but not for quite some time. If you already have any foreign-denominated retainers: happy days, they’re worth more to you than they were last month.”

Peter also flags that during the last few downturns we have seen a gradual shift where advertising and marketing spend is being seen as a recovery tool, rather than a discretionary nice-to-have, so agencies aren’t getting ‘switched off’ in a downturn, at least no more than other essentials like people and property costs. “Hold your nerve when quoting and tendering,” he advises, “you shouldn’t need to drop your prices to undercut ‘local’ competitors, and the UK has long had the edge in terms of sharp and effective design.”

The long game

“There is a long way to go until we are clear again on our working relationship with our European friends,” says industry expert Kate Blandford of Kate Blandford Consulting. “Stay calm, keep up those friendships, continue to do your extraordinary work, building healthy commercial futures for your clients’ brands.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by business development consultant, Catherine Allison of Master the Art: “Surely now, more than ever, agency CEOs need to project positivity, ensure agency staff remain confident and engaged, invest in their personal development and train them to represent the agency in the best possible way? Only then will they be best placed to convert those new business opportunities that do come their way.”

So in these extraordinary days, months and years ahead, this will be the time to really master your messaging to your clients on the value you can bring to their business; the ROI and commercial growth they can expect to see from investing in design. As the DBA’s CEO Deborah Dawton says: “UK design is world leading. Our industry’s proven ability to drive both business and economic growth has not changed, nor has the quality and effectiveness of our offer. UK design is a potent business asset and a sound commercial investment.”

It is our time to design a better future for business, government and society. The opportunity is there.

With thanks to the contributors from the DBA’s Register of Experts.

Image credits: © Leswag Dreamstime.com

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About: Adam Fennelow

Adam Fennelow is Head of Services at the DBA.

For more information on DBA membership go to: www.dba.org.uk/membership
E: adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk

Image credit: © Kitano Dreamstime.com

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