Lord Alan Sugar is aiming to grab a chunk of the £4bn SEO market after handing BBC Apprentice finalist Mark Wright the £250,000 prize to launch a joint venture digital marketing agency.
Australian Wright, who was revealed as the winner last night, defeated rival Bianca Miller, whose business idea was to sell a range of tights to match varying skin tones.
Her hosiery was criticised for being too expensive, and Miller had also been accused last week of stealing the idea from another businesswoman at a networking event.
After the final, Wright claimed the UK is a “land of opportunity” and the best place in the world to start a business. He added: “You can start a business here from your kitchen bench and turn over a million quid – what other place in the world can you do that? In Australia the population’s not big enough and the dollar’s not strong enough.”
Wright moved to the UK in the summer of 2012 to work for SEO specialist ReachLocal in London, and now aims to replicate the business with his own venture, Climb Online.
Although there will be plenty of competition for the start-up, the potential rewards are huge. The H1 2014 IAB/PwC adspend survey showed that the search market was worth £1.9bn for the first half of 2014 alone – a year-on-year increase of rise 11.3%.
Lord Sugar already has a presence in the digital ad market through Amscreen, which signed a deal to provide Tesco with an on-screen advertising platform last year.
The system tracks which customers are typically in the queue in 450 petrol stations at certain times, and runs ads based on the data. DunnHumby links customer insights into Amscreen’s network to help develop the network’s customer engagement.
The digital network also provides ad-funded branded content around news, weather and sports, as well as display advertising opportunities.
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