£10m advertising fund for SMEs launched by Ocean Outdoor

Charlie Spargo's picture

Digital OOH advertising provider Ocean Outdoor has launched an advertising fund to offer support to retailers and SMEs, who are the most severely affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The ad platform has screens in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol and Southampton. The media fund is intended to give businesses and brands access to advertising space across screens in 12 cities to help support and stimulate businesses, jobs and local economies.

Despite the majority of the population adhering strictly to social distancing recommendations - which for its part is having a serious effect on small businesses - there is still an OOH audience in the form of the key workers continuing to need to travel for work. What's more, around two-thirds of the population still gets out to shop for necessities and do exercise.

For independent shops as well as hospitality businesses, this is an incredibly difficult time. Ocean Outdoor is working with the local authorities in each of the 12 cities it's implementing its SME fund in to cover multiple OOH ad campaigns in order to support the struggling operators with valuable promotion.

Ocean Outdoor UK's joint MDs, Phil Hall and Steve George, said: “Brands, retailers and SMEs need to continue to market themselves, so our message is 'do not go dark'. Previous crises have seen a reasonably rapid return to ‘normality’ for strong brands  - and research from Kantar shows that stronger brands recover nine times faster.

“However, for many SMEs, income streams and operating costs are under incredible strain. Ocean hopes to alleviate some of that stress through this fund. If we can leverage our network to help keep businesses and local economies going, or kick-start them even, then that can only be a good thing.”

The SME support fund is open to all SMEs affected by coronavirus, and those taking part must be open for business in the short term. Each campaign will be displayed between April and June based on availability through these times, and layout and supply of creative is supplied by the businesses themselves.