Definition of Creative Industries

Defining the ‘creative industry’ presents an ongoing challenge due to the nature of the sector that encompasses a broad array.

UNESCO definition

Sectors of organised activity whose principal purpose is the production or reproduction, promotion, distribution and/or commercialisation of goods, services and activities of a cultural, artistic or heritage-related nature.


The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) definition

DCMS defined the creative industries in 2001 as

those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent which have a potential for job and wealth creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property

The DCMS splits the creative industries into into

  • Nine creative groups
  • 30 creative occupations

The Nine Creative Groups


  1. Advertising and Marketing: marketing and sales directors, advertising and public relations directors, public relations professionals, advertising accounts managers and creative directors, and marketing associate professionals
  2. Architecture: architects, town planning officers, chartered architectural technologists, and architectural and town planning technicians
  • Crafts: smiths and forge workers, weavers and knitters, glass and ceramics makers, decorators and finishers, furniture makers and other craft woodworkers, other skilled trades not elsewhere classified
  • Design (product, graphic and fashion design): graphic designers and product, clothing and related designers
  • Film, TV, video, radio and photography: arts officers, producers and directors and photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators

IT, software and computer services: information technology and telecommunications directors, IT business analysts, architects and systems designers, programmers and software development professionals, web design and development professionals

  1. Publishing: journalists, newspaper and periodical editors and authors, writers and translators
  2. Museums, galleries and libraries: librarians and archivists and curators
  3. Music, performing and visual arts: artists, actors, entertainers and presenters, dancers and choreographers, and musicians.

30 creative occupations

DCMS description

Code Description Employment

(000s) %

1132 Marketing and sales directors 181 12.2%

1134 Advertising and Public Relations Directors 19 1.2%

1136 Information technology and telecommunications directors 54 3.7%

2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designers 89 6.0%

2136 Programmers and software development professionals 224 15.1%

2137 Web design and development professionals 60 4.0%

2431 Architects 46 3.1%

2432 Town planners 16 1.1%

2435 Chartered architectural technologists 4 0.3%

2451 Librarians 26 1.8%

2452 Archivists & curators 11 0.7%

2471 Journalists, Newspaper and Periodical editors 64 4.3%

2472 Public relations professionals 38 2.6%

2473 Advertising accounts managers and creative directors 26 1.8%

3121 Architectural and town planning technicians 18 1.2%

3411 Artists 39 2.6%

3412 Authors, writers and translators 73 4.9%

3413 Actors, entertainers and presenters 37 2.5%

3414 Dancers and choreographers 17 1.2%

3415 Musicians 37 2.5%

3416 Arts officers, producers and directors 66 4.4%

3417 Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators 71 4.8%

3421 Graphic Designers 67 4.5%

3422 Product, Clothing and related designers 54 3.6%

3543 Marketing associate professionals 150 10.1%


Total Creative SOC employment 1,487 5.1

Source: Labour Force Survey, March 2011 – April 2012 averaged


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