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Scottish SMEs Sign up to New Advertising Initiative


The Advertising Association’s AAccelerate for Growth pilot in Scotland names first businesses to benefit from cross-industry bespoke advertising campaign

Scottish SMEs Sign up to New Advertising Initiative

Since its launch in June this year, the Advertising Association has been working to identify the first businesses to take part in its AAccelerate Scotland pilot project to enable SMEs across the country to advertise more and boost their bottom line.

And today, the Advertising Association is delighted to announce the first five companies participating in AAccelerate Scotland.

The project will bring together businesses, agencies and media owners in an unprecedented collaborative project to increase economic growth in Scotland.

The first businesses who will benefit from a range of bespoke, expert, advertising advice are:

  • Appointedd - a supplier of online booking and scheduling solutions for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to take bookings from any platform, on any device, in any time zone.
  • Green Tourism - which services 2,500 business globally from its base in Perth offering advice and accreditation to tourism businesses wishing to operate sustainably. It has achieved significant growth in the last year with the launch of GreenCheck, the new digital programme for members. 
  • Fleming Homes - is based in Duns, Berwickshire and has over 30 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of bespoke timber frame kit houses.
  • OOni - an outdoor cookware company founded by husband-and-wife team Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland in 2012. Ooni pizza ovens give users the ability to cook pizza in their own backyard in just 60 seconds.
  • Vets Now - based in Dunfermline, Vets Now was founded in 2001 by Richard Dixon as a dedicated out-of-hours emergency and critical care service for pets. It now provides services to more than 1,000 veterinary practices across the UK.

In an exciting move, the businesses will be working in collaboration with Advertising Association members The Lane Agency, Story and Frame to put together multi-channel campaigns. They will also work hand-in-hand with Scottish media owners, AA members and supporters of AAccelerate Scotland to ensure the delivery of a seamless and successful advertising campaign.

The media owners comprise: Bauer Media, Cinema Advertising Association, Direct Marketing Association, Exterion Media, Facebook, New Wave Media, Ocean Scotland, Royal Mail, Scottish Newspaper Society, and STV. The IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) will also be closely involved in the project as a member of the working group.   

Scotland has a buoyant SME ecosystem and a great infrastructure that makes it an excellent location for the start of a project the Advertising Association hopes to take nationally across the UK.

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 of 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.

How will the project work?

The SMEs will each undertake a multi-channel advertising campaign which will run over several weeks. The campaigns will be unique and crafted for the individual businesses. The SMEs all have different objectives and aims from the campaigns, including new product, territory and vertical launches.

At the end of the campaigns, the SMEs will receive bespoke evaluation which will show them how their campaigns have worked and where the most impact was felt. Each SME has made a financial contribution to participate in the pilot. This will be matched by the industry. The first five represent an important contribution to growing SMEs across the UK through the power of advertising.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn commented:

“Advertising is vitally important to the Scottish economy, supporting businesses and helping brands to grow. It also helps us deliver Scotland the brand to new markets, including through our new collaboration, “Scotland Is Now”.

“It is important that we make links between advertising – as well as the wider creative industries – and businesses, so that they can help one another grow and become even more successful. I am pleased to see that the Advertising Association is announcing the first SMEs that will participate in its AAcelerate for Growth Scotland pilot and will benefit from advertising advice to develop multi-channel campaigns.

“I am looking forward to seeing what campaigns are developed and what impact that they have in contributing to business growth, increased sales and the potential to export for the businesses.”

AAccelerate Scotland’s Chairman and Partner of the Leith Agency, Brian Coane said:

“I am delighted to announce the first five SMEs that will participate in AAccelerate Scotland, and moreover AAccelerate UK. They are great businesses and showcase both the talent and variety in Scottish businesses, operating across the UK and internationally.”

Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre and national champion of AAccelerate said:

“The businesses are hugely impressive and fantastic ambassadors for the power of SMEs in Scotland and the wider UK. It will be exciting to watch the businesses benefit from multi-channel advertising in the first ever pilot of its kind.”

Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association said:

“This announcement marks a hugely important step for our AAccelerate for Growth pilot, both in Scotland and more broadly across the UK.

“We hope that it marks the start of a more wide-ranging initiative where SMEs can realise the potential that advertising in a multi-channel format offers to boost their business growth. We relish the opportunity to demonstrate how advertising can boost UK Plc and contribute to the aims of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy by growing business right across the country.”

AAccelerate Scotland will be announcing the next five SMEs to participate in the programme before the end of 2018.

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