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Boris Johnson’s £100m no-deal Brexit advertising drive run by US-owned firms

Boris Johnson’s £100m “prepare for Brexit” advertising campaign is being run by two US-owned companies, according to Campaign magazine.

The advertising drive is designed to promote the ways that businesses can get ready for a no-deal Brexit, though it has been labelled as a blatant propaganda effort.

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The £100m campaign will be led by the communications and media agency Engine Group. While Engine is based in London, it’s owned by Lake Capital, a US private equity company, and ORC International, a research company based in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Campaign magazine reports that media buying (the process of buying TV, radio and online advertising placements), will be handled by Manning Gottlieb OMD. Again, although Manning Gottlieb is headquartered in London, it’s owned by Omnicom Media Group – a US firm with revenues of $15bn that trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

It’s unknown how exactly these US links will influence the advertising campaign. After all, as Larry Summers pointed out last month, Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit pledge puts America in a much stronger negotiating position for a future trade deal.

Clearly, though, Boris isn’t using Brexit as an opportunity to “buy British”.

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