Virgin Media’s new scheme offers free TV ads to Irish SMEs

25 May 2020

Image: © денис климов/

Virgin Media has launched its Backing Business initiative to offer a platform to Irish SMEs that have been impacted by Covid-19.

Today (25 May), Virgin Media Ireland announced plans to offer free TV advertising to SMEs as part of its new €1m Backing Business support scheme.

The scheme aims to boost Irish businesses nationwide, with free on-air advertising including creative production, profiles in relevant TV programmes and social media promotion across Virgin Media channels One, Two and Three.

Virgin Media said that it wants to “underpin the renewal and recovery” of businesses impacted by the Covid-19 crisis by providing a “national platform to showcase their resilience and ingenuity” during challenging times.

Who can participate?

Virgin Media said that the scheme will run until September, featuring as many Irish businesses as possible. It said businesses from every sector will be profiled each week, with supports including advertising airtime, ad creative and production, social media promotion, PR activity, content features and a Virgin Media business support package.

To apply, business owners have to send a short email outlining who and where they are, some of their main products or services, and how they have coped and reinvented themselves in the current crisis.

Virgin Media said applicants can also take a short video by mobile phone, which should include shots of the business premises, and email it to or send on WhatsApp to 089 611 1111.

Aidan D’Arcy, director of business at Virgin Media Ireland, said: “Virgin Media reaches into every home in Ireland and our editorial, creative, production and commercial teams are really looking forward to bringing this programme to life.

“We know many businesses are finding things tough right now, particularly local SMEs who are at the heart of their communities, so we want to help them as much as we can while they deal with their current challenges and create new ways to keep their businesses and employees busy.”

Businesses set to be featured

Virgin Media has already selected six Irish businesses to feature in this campaign: Pamper the Camper, The Sensory Pod, StuffUNeed, Nufields, Workspace Interiors and South William Clinic & Spa.

D’Arcy said that Virgin Media is “thrilled” to support these six businesses. “As the economy gradually reopens in the weeks to come, we encourage consumers everywhere to rally in support of their local shops, businesses and service providers and to buy Irish wherever possible including online shopping and ordering by phone,” he added.

“This campaign celebrates and promotes the spirit of Irish businesses and their resolve to fight back, recover and succeed in spite of this unprecedented crisis. We’re really delighted to make it happen and we look forward to hearing from businesses in every village, town and city across Ireland.”

Last week, Sky Ireland announced its own €250,000 support scheme that will give 25 companies free television advertising airtime worth €10,000 through its AdSmart platform. The scheme is open to SMEs that have been trading for at least a year and are either new to television advertising or returning after an absence of 12 months.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic