Approximately 65,000 people are currently working 26,000 companies operating in the Dutch advertising sector.

What's happening?

The best examples

Dutch gift to Estonia: Nation branding

‘Simply ESTonishing country branding proposal by a Dutchman, clearly the bEST so far’, tweeted the prime minister of Estonia in response to the gift to his country from city marketeer Peter Kentie. ‘I wanted to help this famous and at the same time unfamiliar country with its nation branding.’

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Webcam Child Sex Tourism is spreading fast. Men from rich countries pay children in poor countries to perform sexual acts in front of webcams.

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This means that there are a lot of very small businesses. Companies employing less than three employees. The self-employed individuals make up for 80%. The larger agencies are represented by the VEA association (income threshold 1 million euro) and employ approximately 20 employees, and some even have 100 to 125 employees. The advertising sector represents a total economic value of approximatelyy 4 billion euro per year.

25% of people working in the Dutch creative top sector work for an advertising agency and initiatives, such as Dutch Digital Design, are being taken to place our Dutch creative quality firmly on the international map of digital design.

The added value of the Dutch Communications Industry is our creative thinking. Sometimes these are new ideas; sometimes campaigns. Think of AH’s Harry Piek or Telfort’s Hans the former millionaire, which take brands to great heights. Sometimes these are strong brand missions, such as Glashelder (Clear as glass) by Interpolis. But agencies are increasingly coming up with products such as Meet & Seat of KLM, the honest chocolate letter of Oxfam Novib with the Green Santaclause as means of communication or even complete new business models such as InShared.

The crisis has taught companies and organisations that they need creative thinking to find new ways towards growth, and more and more often advertising agencies are proving to be a strong partner in this process. A good example is KLM, who turned a bad situation into something good. Following the cloud of ashes above Iceland, KLM was faced with huge number of complaints via social media. KLM was the first large service provider to develop webcare via twitter. It was the starting point of their strategy to focus their communications strategy on social media. The agency was an important inspirator in this process.

The value of creativity is increasingly recognised. Professional advertisers are willing to pay for it. Of course, agencies have experienced significant pressure to cut costs. But since 2013, we are on our way back up. Television and the internet are crucial channels for the advertising sector. On average Dutch people watch two hours of television a day, which ranks them as the top television watchers in Europe.

In Europe, Amsterdam is regarded as a Creative Capital. In addition to London, Amsterdam is seen as an important location for international creative agencies such as Wieden & Kennedy or 180 & Anomaly. Naturally our favourable tax environment plays a role, but also the liberal mentality and the open economy mean that Amsterdam is a strong hub from where Europe can be conquered. Amsterdam has a good reputation worldwide when it comes to creativity, it houses a lot of talent and attracts international talent. .

One of the most recent examples of how a Dutch communication idea can take over the world is the Sweetie case by buro LEMZ in Amsterdam.

Talmon Kochheim

Directeur Vereniging van Communicatieadviesbureaus (VEA)