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What is AAccelerate for Growth?

AAccelerate for Growth is the Advertising Association and its members' way of helping SMEs to advertise more and grow faster. Our research shows that 43% of SMEs in the UK advertise but constitute just 18% of UK ad spend. We know that for every £1 spent on advertising, there is an average of over £3 increase in profitability. The wider impact is a £6 uplift in GDP for every £1 spent. These results are even greater amongst the SME community, particularly when undertaking multi-channel campaigns - £1 can benefit an SME eight times as much as a larger business. Multi-channel campaigns also have the advantage of complementing and amplifying content. 


In order to help more businesses to grow quickly, we are starting our AAccelerate programme in Scotland and the West Midlands. We will eventually expand across the UK.


AAccelerate brings together the best of UK advertising to help with advice and incentives to give UK SMEs the best return on their advertising investment. 


The profit from £1 spent on advertising over time
For every £1 spent on advertising, there is a £6 uplift in GDP
£1 can benefit an SME eight times as much as a larger business

Our AAccelerate Partners

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Siobhan Kenny
Siobhan Kenny

CEO Radiocentre

National champion of AAccelerate

Siobhan Kenny has been CEO of Radiocentre for over four years during which time she has championed diversity and driving new partnerships. The radio and audio industry is enjoying a resurgence in the form of both record advertising revenues and listening figures. Siobhan chairs the BBC/commercial sector digital venture, Radioplayer, and serves on the Boards of the Advertising Association, Digital Radio UK and the literacy charity Beanstalk. She played a key role in bringing the 2012 Olympics to London as a Board Director of the Culture, Media and Sport department. Her speciality is in political and strategic communication for content businesses going through transformation, including Disney and HarperCollins. She was recently made a Fellow of The Radio Academy.

Meet the experts

Brian Coane
Brian Coane

Partner, Leith Agency

Chair of AAccelerate Scotland

Brian joined Leith in 2004 and has managed some of the agency’s largest integrated accounts covering projects from brand development through to multi-media campaigns. He led the agency team that created the campaigns for Glasgow 2014 selling over a million tickets and making them the best Commonwealth Games ever. Brian has over 10 years’ experience of working on social marketing with a focus on health campaigns including the ground-breaking campaign to introduce the ban on smoking in public places in Scotland.

Michelle Wright
Michelle Wright

Managing director, Gough Bailey Wright

Chair of AAccelerate West Midlands

With an advertising industry career spanning 30 years, Michelle has a genuine – and highly infectious – passion for advertising in all of its forms. She is currently joint owner of Gough Bailey Wright, a full-service IPA agency based in Bromsgrove.


Since joining her first agency as a youth opportunities trainee aged just 16, Michelle has seen the advertising industry go through many changes. And as the industry continues to develop and evolve, Michelle believes very much in maintaining hands-on experience at the coal face of her agency’s work.


In 2017, Michelle was appointed IPA City Head for Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Sally Weavers
Sally Weavers

Founder of Craft Media London

Sally has over 25 years’ experience in the industry and has worked for agencies covering the full range of communication disciplines: creative (JWT/WCRS), brand (Branded) and media (Vizeum, UM, Initiative).  She was most recently MD of Initiative UK. Sally is a member of WACL: a network of the most senior women in the communications industry, is a long-term tutor for the Advertising Association’s Media Business Course, a Campaign Top 10 planner and a regular judge on industry awards panels.  Her career highlights include launching the new MINI for BMW, rattling the directory enquiries market with 118 118, helping Tesco through some significant challenges and bringing Amazon Alexa to the UK.

Stephen Woodford
Stephen Woodford

CEO, Advertising Association

Stephen’s illustrious advertising career spans over 30 years. Previous roles include deputy managing director at Leo Burnett Group, managing director at WCRS and CEO at WCRS/Engine Group and chairman of adam&eveDDB. Stephen is also the chairman of Livity a “more than profit” youth agency working with teenagers and young adults to co-create socially innovative campaigns. He is also the co-founder of U Account, a disruptor to the retail banking model.

Francesca Woodhouse
Francesca Woodhouse

Project director, AAccelerate for Growth

Francesca is the project director for the AAccelerate for Growth pilot to encourage more SMEs to use multi-channel advertising. This is one area of the Advertising Association’s response to the government’s Industrial Strategy. Francesca is responsible for the structure and delivery of the pilot, and overall project management and stakeholder engagement. Her background is in public affairs, communications and marketing, working with fast-growth startups and SMEs. She runs a limited company, Slanted Door Communications.

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