Brands ready campaign to boost digital economy

Brands including the BBC, E.on and the Post Office are teaming up as part of Go ON UK, Martha Lane Fox’s latest initiative to get everyone in the UK online.

Go ON UK

Other organisations backing the initiative include Talk Talk, Age UK and Lloyds Banking Group.

The companies will “pool resources, share expertise, reach and networks”.

Lane Fox claims that the “radical” cross-sector partnership will boost the digital capability of UK SMEs, charities and the 8.2m adults that are not already online.

It is hoped that getting more people online will help small businesses and charities grow.

UK consumers spent more than £17bn online in the first three months of the year, a 13% increase year-on-year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini figures.

Go ON UK follows in the footsteps of Race Online, a digital initiative set up by Lane Fox in 2010 to encourage older people to use digital services for the first time. Lane Fox claims that as a result of the campaign more than 2 million people started using the internet.

Lane Fox says: “The UK leads the world in most indicators of digital capability … However, many individuals and organisations still struggle to exploit the broader benefits of technology, a problem that is particularly acute for our small businesses, older people and charities that are currently at risk of being left behind”.

“Go ON UK will push for a step-change in how these sectors [SME and charity] use digital – so that the small businesses that contribute so much to our prosperity can grow and compete, and so charities that are the lifeblood of our communities continue to thrive”.

“Failing to act now would result in charities and small businesses operating at a significant disadvantage as the rest of the UK becomes increasingly digital”, concludes Lane Fox.

John Maltby, group director of commercial at Lloyds Banking Group says: “If we are serious about seizing opportunities for economic growth, we also need to ensure that the country’s small and medium sized businesses make better use of the Internet. If businesses are to improve efficiency, add value in supply chains and enter new markets, here and especially internationally, they must adopt new technology.

“It is our goal to equip businesses with the knowledge and skills to compete and grow on a global stage. With our presence online and in communities across the UK we want to play our part in making this happen.”

The BBC’s director-general Mark Thompson, Talk Talk CEO Dido Harding, Age UK CEO Tom Wright, Lloyds Banking Group MD of Customer, Brands, Digital and Telephone Banking, Eva Eisenschimmel, Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells and E.on marketing director Jeremy Davies will sit on the Go ON UK board and help develop the organisation’s vision for 2020 and a national plan of activities for the first 18 months.

Lane Fox is the UK’s Digital Champion and chairs the Government Digital Service Advisory Board and sits on the Efficiency and Reform Board in the Cabinet office.

Watch a video of Martha Lane-Fox, BBC director-general Mark Thompson, Talk Talk CEO Dido Harding, Age UK CEO Tom Wright, Lloyds Banking Group MD of customer, brands, digital and telephone banking, Eva Eisenschimmel, Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells and E.on marketing director Jeremy Davies talking about the campaign below:

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Video created by Adjust Your Set.

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