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Advertising Association Celebrates Scottish Ad Industry Success


An event in Edinburgh marked the outstanding success of the £1.7bn Scottish ad industry and looked at how it can grow in the future

Advertising Association Celebrates Scottish Ad Industry Success

A special showcase event on Wednesday evening at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh hosted by the Advertising Association celebrated the success of Scotland’s £1.7bn ad industry; the creative talent that lies behind it; and also looked at how advertising can help SMEs grow and add further impetus to the Scottish economy. Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy in the Scottish Government was guest of honour at the event, which brought together a host of representatives from across the breadth of Scotland’s political,advertising, business and media industries.

The event also saw the official launch of the Advertising Association’s ‘AAccelerate for Growth’ pilot programme to help SMEs advertise more. Overall in the UK research shows that only 43% of SMEs in the UK advertise and they constitute just 18% of UK ad spend. The impact o advertising for SMEs is impressive, particularly where they undertake multi-channel campaigns – £1 spent on advertising can benefit an SME eight times as much as a larger business. Every £1 spent on advertising in Scotland generates £5 for the Scottish economy, so the £1.7 ad spend generates £8.8bn, which in turn contributes 42,000 Scottish jobs.

Scotland has a buoyant SME ecosystem and a great infrastructure that makes it an excellent location for the pilot. The pilot aims to find 10 special SMEs from across Scotland to undertake multi-channel campaigns for a specific period. The businesses will receive a bespoke advertising campaign, at the end of which the impact of multi-channel advertising and its important role in growing sales, profits and jobs will be measured

The launch event also featured the public premiere of a new short film from the Advertising Association celebrating the real people and the creative talent behind the Scottish advertising industry. The film highlights the inspirational stories of colleagues working in the vibrant ad sector in Scotland and focuses on what they think makes the country unique, with its history of creativity and innovation leading right up to the present day.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy in the Scottish Government, commented:

“Advertising is vitally important to the Scottish Economy. Not only does it support businesses and help brands to grow, as has been demonstrated with some of Scotland’s iconic brands, but advertising also helps deliver Scotland the brand, as demonstrated by the powerful and attractive campaign ‘Scotland is Now’.

“I want to see links established between the creative industries and the wider economy so that they can help each other to grow. The Advertising Association’s AAccelerate for Growth pilot is one way that we can help grow business and the wider economy. I am keen to facilitate links to help in the development of the pilot and I will be watching it carefully and will be interested to see its impact and what we can all learn from it in terms of demonstrating the power of advertising in company growth.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said:

“The Scottish advertising industry is a key driver of the economy, giving back five times the value to Scotland’s GDP for the amount invested in it. And a key element in this success are the diverse and talented teams working right across Scotland who are using their unique advertisingknow-how to take budding businesses and lead them to ever greater growth on the UK and global stage.

“But we also know that advertising can do even more to support jobs right across the country. That is why Advertising Association has set up AAccelerate for Growth to demonstrate the added value that advertising offers for SMEs to help them achieve their commercial goals, and we forward to supporting them in their aims”.

Siobhan Kenny, Chief Executive at Radiocentre and national champion of the AAccelerate for Growth project commented:

“The AAccelerate for Growth programme provides smaller businesses with a huge opportunity that will allow them to harness the power of advertising, the ultimate catalyst for growth – something which is currently perceived as unattainable to many businesses. Scottish SMEs are already the backbone of the economy, and just a little extra assistance could propel them towards realising their true potential for growth.”

Brian Coane, Chairman, Front Foot Scotland & Partner, The Leith Agency said:

Our ambition is for advertising industry to be one of the sectors that drives faster economic growth in Scotland. Right now, relative to other areas of the UK, advertising contributes less than it could and one of the key ways we can change this is by encouraging more Scottish SMEs toadvertise. The AAccelerate programme has been designed to do just that. It’s all about encouraging SMEs to advertise and grow their businesses. 

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