• Sky’s advertising arm launches £1m support scheme for SMEs
  • SME100 aims to provide 100 firms with advertising campaigns
  • Scheme will be powered by Sky’s AdSmart platform

Sky’s advertising arm has launched a £1 million support scheme offering 100 small businesses TV advertising campaigns through AdSmart to support them during the coronavirus lockdown.

sky logo

sky logo

Sky Media, the sales arm of the UK-based broadcaster, has unveiled SME100, which is open to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) hat have been running for at least one year in the UK with up to 50 full time employees.

Businesses can nominate themselves or be put forward by their own customers, with Sky aiming to support those firms that need support during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is aimed at those firms who will benefit from access to a TV advertising campaign.

“Businesses up and down the country are facing some of the hardest trading conditions in recent memory,” said David Sanderson, director of AdSmart local and development at Sky Media.

“We want to help our nation’s SMEs where possible by giving access to highly relevant audiences via AdSmart totally for free. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, making up 99.9% of all business in the UK. We know that although there are economic slowdowns, people are still spending money and we want to help brands connect to these audiences. This initiative is about giving businesses confidence in advertising and their ability to succeed no matter the situation.”

Execution of the ads will be supported by local creative agencies in partnership with Shutterstock, which will provide access to its library of stock images, videos and music to aid in the creative process.

The campaigns will be delivered via AdSmart from Sky – the broadcaster’s addressable TV platform that can reach audiences by postcode area, distance from a store, or services that best suit them.

Since launching in 2014, AdSmart has been used by 2,380 brands for more than 28,000 campaigns, according to Sky Media.

Broadcasters are under increasing pressure, with a downturn in advertising predicted due to an impending economic recession caused by the global coronavirus lockdown.

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully said “This Government is fully committed to supporting SMEs through this challenging time, with £12.3 billion in grants and 100% government guaranteed loans of up to £50,000 through our Bounce Back Loans scheme. However, we all have a role to play in the national response to COVID-19, so I welcome Sky’s announcement today, releasing a £1 million AdSmart fund to provide SMEs with free TV advertising campaigns.”

The move follows the launch of ITV’s Shout Out platform, which aims to offer advertisers the ability to share information with consumers quickly and cost effectively during the coronavirus pandemic.