But Shebbeare noted that media companies may spread talent and resources more evenly across Europe. He and other executives agreed that immigration limits stemming from the decision would lead to a talent drain from London.
“I find it difficult to imagine any single European city stealing London's leading position in marketing, not least given language and cultural barriers and the breadth and depth of talent based in our capital,” Shebbeare said. “However, it does seem reasonable to expect some businesses to shift to more locally managed operations. … All major European capitals will see some business shift from London.”
Adbrain’s Davies wondered if talent from continental Europe would be less likely to move to London: “They’ll say, ‘Why don’t I move to Paris or Berlin, where I’m not concerned about the future of my immigration status and where I’m welcome?’”
And international talent who already live and work in the UK may choose to move elsewhere to avoid uncertainties. With less talent, VC funding is harder to come by.
If the UK approaches immigration and market access in a more open way, as Scandinavia does, the impact on advertising may be “fairly muted,” Shebbeare said. “On the other hand, a new and draconian immigration policy could threaten the UK's creative industries.”