John Whittingdale: Online advertising brings huge opportunities for SMEs

Posted on Wednesday 21 December 2022 | IAB UK

IAB UK hosted a Parliamentary Reception in December 2022 to inform MPs about the valuable role digital advertising plays in supporting small businesses in the UK

Speaking at the event, John Whittingdale MP - our sponsor for the reception - told MPs: “Online advertising brings huge opportunities - it allows you to direct your ads in ways that you never have been able to before… it’s a real bonus for small business advertising.”

Our CEO Jon Mew backed this up by sharing some key stats from our Powering Up research, noting that 60% of small businesses in the UK invest in paid-for digital campaigns, rising to 81% for businesses with 10 to 49 employees.

As he explained: “Digital advertising is an industry that is worth £23.5 billion to our economy and keeps the internet open and free for everyone to use – funding everything from news websites to podcasts to services such as Google maps. It also supports the growth of businesses large and small - research by the Advertising Association shows for every £1 spent on advertising in the UK, £6 is generated in GDP.  For SMEs in particular, digital advertising is fundamental, providing an affordable and effective means of reaching both existing and prospective customers.”

IAB UK members Mail Metro Media, Meta and Reach hosted stands at the event in order to speak directly to MPs about how they’re working with small businesses. Mail Metro Media and Reach shared insights from their latest research studies, while Meta gave MPs the opportunity to walk down a virtual high street in the metaverse. 

Representatives from small businesses also joined us, including Tom Wallis, former Chief Marketing Officer at meal delivery service Gousto, and Miranda Cresswell the CMO at, which specialises in premium dog food subscriptions. 

You can find a selection of photos from the event here and read more about how digital advertising is fuelling SME growth in PoliticsHome.

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