UK Government Urges Brits to Embrace ‘New Start’ With Major Brexit Campaign

Ads by MullenLowe encourage businesses to prepare for exiting the EU in December

Major new government campaign urges Brits to prepare for a new kind of future. MullenLowe / U.K Cabinet Office

LONDON—The U.K has been part of the European Union since 1973, but the country voted to leave in 2016 in favor of, as the government slogan said, “taking back control” of its trading relationships and borders.

After what felt like a very long two years of arguments and political wrangling, the country finally did leave in January of this year, prompting a transition period that ends Dec. 31.

After that date, existing rules and regulations between the U.K. and the EU will change—unless an extension is sought, which the U.K. Prime Minister has ruled out. Since the Brexit vote, voices from many industries, including advertising, have expressed concern about how it will impact business in the long run, with many concerned it could impact client spend as brands hold back spending, nervous about an unknown future.

Some businesses fear they have not had time to adequately prepare for changes that haven’t been made clear—and they’re concerned some U.K. business dealings with EU customers and supply chains could take a hit.

But striking an optimistic beat, agency MullenLowe has created a new multimedia campaign for the U.K. government with an tone that encourages the nation to embrace its future, make a “new start” and “set our course as we transition to our new relationship.”

Titled “The U.K.’s New Start: Let’s Get Going,” the campaign comprises TV, radio, out-of-home, digital, print and direct communications. With the tagline “Check, Change, Go,” it also drives businesses to an online checker tool so they can see the next steps they need to take to prepare for Brexit.

Unsurprisingly, given 52% of people voted for Brexit versus 48% who voted to remain in the European Union, many have taken to social media to slam the ad campaign—pointing out the government’s advice portal, which the ads direct people to, warns of the possibility of higher phone bills and increased holiday insurance costs.

But agency execs behind the campaign said they’re proud to help usher in the next phase of Brexit.

“We’re delighted to have extended our relationship with government and to be given responsibility for such nationally critical communication,” said Tom Knox, executive partner at MullenLowe U.K.

Agency: MullenLowe
Global creative director: Tom Hudson
Senior copywriter: David Parker
Senior art director: Laila Milborrow
Business director: Alexandra Ionides
Senior account manager: Dwayne Rapley
Account executive: Miti Shah and Amy Greasby
Strategist: Giles Hedger
Head of integrated production: Trudy Waldron
Head of creative services: Jack Waters
Integrated project manager: Sofi Andersson
Head of design: Dave Allen
Designers: Harry Ingrams, Elisabeth Bolzon, Tom Hamilton
Head of digital design: Patrick O’Leary and Rachel Wells
Digital designers: Alex Rabjohns, Emily Ragen, Ellie McCulloch, James Ring, Bradley Nicholls
Media: Wavemaker
Media buying: Omni GOV
Production company: HLA
Director: Simon Ratigan
Executive producer: Mike Wells
Producer: Nicola Dempsey
Production manager: Daniel Carter
Editing house: The Quarry
Editor: Bruce Townend
Post-production: The Mill
Producer: Rebecca Pemberton
Colorist: Seamus O’Kane
Creative director and 2D lead: Andrew ‘Barnsley’ Wood
Sound: Wave Studios
Engineer: Jack Patterson and Dugal Mcdiarmid
Photography: Tom Hull Photography
Photographer: Tom Hull
Assistant: Dominic Hawgood

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.