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Ocean’s SME ad fund benefits 300 businesses

Ocean’s SME ad fund benefits 300 businesses

Hundreds of SMEs and retailers have benefited from Ocean Outdoor’s out of home advertising fund that has surpassed the £10million originally promised.

One month after its launch, the fund has now closed having allocated £14 million of free out of home ad space across Ocean’s premium out of home network to SMEs and retailers.

The fund was established to boost a small army of businesses and stimulate jobs and local economies during the coronavirus pandemic. During the time that the scheme was running, more than 350 companies applied to the fund, including a broad range of SMEs operating across multiple sectors, including food and beverages, direct to consumer, health and wellness, leisure, technology and B2B. In total, 300 campaigns worth £14million are now being aired in 12 cities where Ocean has a presence and will continue until June.

Ocean Outdoor UK Joint Managing Directors Phil Hall and Steve George commented: “This has been an exceptional project, which has, without a doubt helped some businesses keep their heads above water, build brand equity, connect with new audiences and generate sales during a very difficult period.

“Ocean’s sales team has been working at pace with all the businesses which applied, many of whom are new to out of home, to get their campaigns live. To meet the demand we have also injected a further £4million into the fund.”

Business owners who applied for space include Manchester-based Didsbury Gin, which recently switched operations to produce one million bottles of hand-sanitiser in the space of seven days.

Co-founder Liam Manton said: “We’re really grateful to have received this support from Ocean Outdoor. We haven’t let these challenging times dampen our spirit of creativity and we’re very proud of this campaign. Hopefully, it will help drive sales on our website, which we’re now more reliant on than ever.”

Mark Middlemas, CEO and founder of The Athlete Media Group added: “Ocean Outdoor’s SME scheme provides a small business like us with a fantastic national platform.  We have never had more engagement as a business and several hugely promising new business leads have come off the back of the campaign!

“It is a difficult time for both athletes and the many charitable good causes they support, so to be able to act as a force for good and deliver such a positive message for them is priceless!  The fabulous lucky7 creative work has helped us to connect in a more meaningful way to a much wider audience than we could normally have expected.”

The Scottish company l’Art du Vin is an artisan wine merchant, selling wines from small, independent growers to restaurants and hotels.

Managing Director Philippe Larue confided: “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to alter our business model, concentrating our efforts on contactless home deliveries to members of the public.

“The Ocean SME campaign helped us to successfully spread the word about these changes and we received lots of great feedback from customers who had seen it in prominent locations around Scotland. Without question, the campaign was a fantastic tool to enable us to gain the upper hand in our attempt to remodel our business in these challenging times. “

The Ocean SME support fund was opened on April 6th for small to medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus and operated in association with the Local Authorities Ocean works with. To qualify, participants needed to be open for business or be able to trade in the short term.

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