John Roberts, CEO of AO World, to speak at the Northern Marketing Awards

Nick Jaspan's picture
by Nick Jaspan

NMA logo 2015We are delighted to announce that John Roberts, the founder and CEO of AO World plc (owner of, has agreed to be the guest speaker at the third Northern Marketing Awards on Wednesday 21 October.

John follows last year’s guest speaker, John Maltby, the CEO of Williams & Glyn. Williams & Glyn is launching as a stand-alone bank brand (it is being spun out of the RBS) in 2016 and will be one of the UK’s largest banks and will be headquartered in Manchester. The bank’s sizeable marketing and comms operations with a launch budget of £40m plus is based in Manchester.

The NMA awards dinner on Wednesday 21 October will see the largest gathering of marketing and marketing services professionals outside London in 2015, bar none.

Last year just shy of 400 guests attended the second NMA dinner and we are confident that this year’s awards dinner at its new home in the Hilton hotel in Manchester, will see a sell-out event of 500 guests at what will simply be the must-attend event this autumn for anyone with a serious interest in marketing in the North.

Further information about the Awards and the entry categories can be found here.

The deadline for submitting entries is Friday 10 July. Now in their third year, the awards celebrate the excellence, creativity and achievements of the marketing industry in the North. The region benefits from an abundance of quality communications initiatives generated each year by thousands of successful private and public companies and not-for-profit sector bodies.

clickThe Awards headline partner is the search marketing agency Click.

Our guest speaker this year, John Roberts, founded Appliances Online in 2000 following a drink with a friend in his local pub. John bet his friend a pound that he could change the way white goods were purchased via the internet… founder John Roberts pictured at the companies warehouse in Crewe, U.K. Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. Photographer: Jason Alden Photographer: Jason Alden 0781 063 1642John Roberts

The business grew and grew and acquired a reputation for innovation and excellent service.

By 2013, had become one of the UK’s five biggest white goods retailers – who between them had over 60% of the market – and, as the only pure play online retailer of the five, it had established itself as the clear market leader in online with a 24% share.

In 2014 AO World plc floated on the London Stock Exchange and as of June 2015 the company’s market capitalisation was c£635m.

For the year to April 2015, according to data provided by Nielsen and the media agency Mediacom,’s accredited media expenditure was over £4m but this figure excludes a large amount of online marketing activities.

John and his teams have built up in just over a decade one of the web’s most successful UK brands during periods of challenging market conditions with a limited capital base and we are delighted that he has agreed to join us at the third NMA dinner and share some of the experiences he has encountered along the way.

John is from Bolton and he is a passionate supporter of staff participation in local charitable causes.


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