£100m “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign launches

The campaign, which will cover billboards and social media, directs the public to a website with advice on preparing for Brexit.

A billboard for the campaign, image courtesy of gov.co.uk

The Get Ready for Brexit campaign was launched on Sunday, in preparation for the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) on 31 October.

The slogan is accompanied by a tagline, directing the public to a government website where they can complete a survey which advises them on what they need to do before 31 October.

It is aimed at EU citizens as well as businesses, many of whom remain unsure about the certainty of Brexit.

According to research by the Cabinet Office, only half the population think the UK is likely to leave the EU on 31 October. 42% of small-to-medium sized businesses are unsure about what they can do to prepare for Brexit.

Engine, an international design consultancy with offices in London, is behind the campaign, which is costing an estimated £100m.

Though the exact details of the roll-out have not been confirmed, it will involve traditional media outlets like television and radio, as well as online platforms.

“Largest single communications campaign ever”

Michael Gove, the Tory minister in charge of no deal planning, wrote in The Telegraph that the campaign will give everyone, from EU citizens to businesses, the “facts they need” to prepare for the UK’s departure.

A government source told The Telegraph that it is the “largest single communications campaign ever undertaken by the UK Government”.

The scale, content and timing of the campaign has led to controversy, with some campaign groups suggesting the campaigns could be seen as party political.

Lord Malloch-Brown, the chairman of pro-European campaign group, Best for Britain, wrote to the cabinet secretary, saying: “The argument that the government is ready for Brexit may be one of the defining issues for a general election campaign.

“If the government’s campaign starts before 31 October, then government advertising that makes the claim will effectively be supporting the governing party’s re-election campaign,” he adds.

Working visas for non-EU migrants

Design Week has reported about the potential difficulties which face the creative industries in the instance of a no-deal Brexit.

One issue is that the Government will prioritise “highly-skilled” workers when deciding visa applications after 31 October. This includes doctors, scientists, lawyers and accountants but not jobs in the design industry.

Non-EU migrants will also need to earn a minimum of £30,000 a year. Last year, the average salary of a graphic designer was £26,490.

Trade mark law, intellectual property and import duties

Although the original date for leaving the EU was postponed from May to October, many concerns are still likely to be relevant to designers and design businesses.

The campaign points people to this website, where different preparatory business advice is given depending on the information input by the user.

The website encourages businesses to check many of these issues, “as soon as possible” in the run up to 31 October.

Among others, businesses involved with selling goods or services in the UK or EU, providing digital services to the EU or which rely on design protection will be affected.

One pressing issue is that there will be changes to design and trade mark law if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

If a business does not disclose its designs before 31 October, it will not have unregistered protection in the UK and EU following Brexit. It will only have protection where its design was first shown, either in the UK or the EU.

The government website also advises businesses to check if they need permission to sell someone’s intellectual property in the European Economic Area. Businesses may not be able to export intellectual property without the right permissions.

Other issues that are likely to affect businesses are changes in import duties, which could include materials for product design companies. There will be changes with food labelling which could affect those working in packaging design, for example.


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  • Neil Littman September 3, 2019 at 11:02 am

    GIven the day to day developments in the government at the moment this could be dead in the water as soon as it is launched. The last press campaign with full page illustrated ads went nowhere. I also find the new campaign completely uninspiring as a designer having seen the amazing work of Abram Games in his retrospective at The National Army Museum. He was somebody who knew how to communicate and reach a wide audience through the medium of illustration and strong messages.

  • Matt Davis September 3, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    What Neil said!

  • Neil Littman September 9, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Forgot to add, they could have spent the same money on a decent recruitment campaign for the NHS. I think it disgraceful to spend money on something that businesses cannot even get their heads round.

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