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JCDecaux UK Appoints Co-CEOs

JCDecaux, the number one outdoor company in the UK, announces that it has appointed Spencer Berwin, Managing Director –Sales and Philip Thomas, Finance Director as co-CEOs of JCDecaux UK, reporting directly to its Chairman, Jean-François Decaux. The new positions take effect immediately and are a reflection of the company’s continued growth and expansion. Following the recent win of TfL’s bus shelters in London and its strategy to make the UK the global capital for digital outdoor, the management structure will be instrumental in the ongoing success of the company.
Jean-François Decaux said “After three years directly running the UK business and following our recent major contract wins, I have decided to hand the day to day management of the company to Spencer and Philip.  I have the utmost confidence in them both to continue the success of the UK operation as we accelerate the investment in our digital transformation strategy with the roll-out of 1,000 84 inch screens to the streets of London.  They have been with the group for a significant number of years and it is this stability of our management team that will continue to be a key strength in our future success.”
Via: JCDecaux

JCDecaux Host “2016 Kick Off Session”

On the 20th January JCDecaux held their “2016 Kick Off Session” at the Royal Institute of British Architects on London’s Portland Place for the employees of  JCDecaux. Guest speaker Stephen Whyte, CEO, Posterscope, spoke about his vision for OOH, the challenges faced as well as the fantastic growth opportunities, whilst the other guest speaker, Paul Frampton, CEO, Havas Media, spoke from an agency viewpoint about  the new opportunities arising for advertisers, and the fascinating world of mobile. There was also a panel made up of Alex Matthews (BBH), Dubose Cole (JWT), Will Harvey (VCCP), and Chris Cardew (Mindshare) who discussed creativity and innovation in the industry.
Paul Frampton Creativity Panel

What My Mentors Taught Me

Top tips from Frances Dickens, chief executive and co-founder of media barter specialist Astus Group.
I expect my experience of school is similar to that of a lot of business people who have succeeded in their careers despite, rather than because of, formal education. I also expect like me that their teachers played less of a role in shaping their work ethic and values than the handful of key colleagues who noticed their potential, encouraged them to excel and bollocked them if they didn’t.
The role of mentors in the workplace is a perennial topic and I am a big fan of formal mentoring schemes such US-based Million Women Mentors and WISE here in the UK which both aim to push female talent in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) sectors from classroom to boardroom.
My own career has been focussed on the media industry, initially as account handler for billboard company More O’Ferrall and currently as chief executive of Astus Group, the UK’s largest media barter company, where I oversee a team of 35 and a business turnover of £132.2m in 2013. In terms of my career trajectory, there are two women who helped ensure I confounded my teachers’ expectations and whom I’d regard as mentors: Annie Rickard, chief executive of outdoor specialist Posterscope and Christine Walker, former chief executive of Zenith Media and latterly joint MD of Walker Media. I met Annie when she hired me to work at outdoor specialist Harrison Salison which later became Posterscope. Christine and I worked together on the board of out of home specialists Meridian Outdoor, the joint venture between Posterscope and Zenith Optimedia.
Here are five key lessons my mentors taught me:
1. Preparation is key
Going into a meeting with Annie or Christine was a terrifying prospect IF you hadn’t prepared, as both are absolute perfectionists. On the board of Meridian Outdoor they were often both present at meetings and I quickly learned to anticipate the questions they were going to ask ahead of time and to ensure any documents I was handing out featured meticulous spelling and grammar. On the plus side, I learnt that if I argued my case really well they were prepared to listen and go with my recommendations.
2. Always deliver on your promises
One of the founding principles of Astus Group is that we only take on deals we are sure we can deliver against. This is a lesson I learned from Annie and Christine for whom delivery on business promises is almost an article of faith. Both women inspired tremendous client loyalty because of their track record of coming through for clients. Following their example has served me well at Astus where our insistence on meeting client expectation means we have repeat business levels of more than 95%.
3. Keep calm and carry on
Christine and Annie have experience of leading multimillion pound companies and both have fairly formidable reputations usually perpetuated by people who haven’t actually met them. The bottom line is that you’ve got to be tough if you’re leading a company -people’s livelihoods and careers depend on you making cool, calm decisions. Christine and Annie are both very calm under pressure. Come to think of it I’ve met way more panicky blokes at the top than panicky women.
4. Lead by example
As my boss at Posterscope, Annie taught be everything I know about account handling. One thing I particularly admire about her, and which I have tried to make a part of my own leadership style, is that she would never ask her staff to do anything she hadn’t or wouldn’t do herself. What’s more if the task was in anyway tough, she would be there doing it with you. Both Annie and Christine had a very open door policy and again an open working culture is one of the cornerstones of my own business.
5. Give people you trust a chance
Annie and Christine are great at empowering people who they perceive to have potential by giving them more responsibility. This explains how I came to be on the board of Meridian Outdoor. When I started Astus, Christine gave me a chance to prove that media barter worked despite having a very bad experience of media barter as it was practised at the time. I really admire her for being prepared to put her misgivings to one side and listen to how my company was going to change the existing discredited business model by focussing on delivery first. When the time was right she allowed me to talk to her clients about media barter and when they agreed to try it out we made sure we exceeded their expectations.
Via: Huffington Post

Gregory Has Ambitious Plans for Exterion Media

Three days into his role as the international chief executive of Exterion Media – the company known as CBS Outdoor until January – Shaun Gregory is already a bit bored of the obvious questions.
Yes, he is aware of next year’s tender for the £1 billion London Underground contract, and that people have concerns about the company’s private-equity ownership, but he does not want to talk about that.
He wants to focus on the possibilities of outdoor, both for brands and the wider public.
Executives in the outdoor industry have eulogised about its synchronicity with mobile for years. Yet there is still a sense of untapped possibility. Gregory, however, can speak from experience. He has spent the past seven years developing mobile advertising businesses. As the chief executive of the ad-funded network Blyk and then running Telefónica’s ad division globally, he has been at the forefront of attempts to develop mobile advertising around the world.
Gregory says that, after his tenure at Telefónica, Exterion was the “natural” next step. His experience working with Telefónica’s Onthespot, which provides point-of-sale interactivity in 82 countries, and the UK’s outdoor audience measurement platform, Route, has assured him out-of-home is “well-positioned not just for growth but growth ahead of other media”.
When Gregory talks about growth, he is talking about the outdoor industry taking share from other media. But his vision extends to “changing environments for the better”. Gregory says out-of-home has an opportunity to “genuinely change people’s lives and consumer habits” and gives the example of interactive shopping billboards in Asia. The click-and-collect services now offered at some Tube stations are just the start, he says.
Part of Gregory’s mission is to encourage the industry to work together more effectively. He has been a non-executive director at Ocean Outdoor for the past two years and intends to continue sitting on the board. He cites Google’s Eric Schmidt, who spent a number of years as a non-executive director at Apple. “There’s a very clear opportunity in this area,” Gregory says. “But we won’t do it unless we work more collaboratively together.”
But for all this talk of the future, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Gregory is taking over a business that has had an uncertain four years. The Underground deal, the biggest outdoor contract in the world and signed before the financial crisis hit, threatened to drown CBS’s international outdoor division.
Although the contract was eventually renegotiated, Exterion will have to fight to keep it in 2015.
It must be difficult to have to keep answering the same questions about the past when you claim to be so excited about the future. But Gregory does it with patience.
“I know there’s a contract, and I know there’s a tender process. I know people are interested in that,” Gregory says. “But what I’m interested in is delivering excellent campaigns, I’m interested in improving the asset base. I’m interested in making the London Underground the most iconic example of out-of-home across the globe. I’m interested in making that so great and so unique that everyone travels from around the world to see it.”
Yet for all his gushing about the Underground, Gregory is clear that the UK is just one part of the company he has been appointed to run. He talks passionately about putting back more autonomy into individual countries so they can concentrate on what they need. He avoids answering specific questions about the long- or even medium-term plan of Exterion’s owner, Platinum Equity, preferring to answer for himself: “I’m here to build something long term and sustainable.”
A hard-working northerner who worked his way up from regional radio ad sales at Emap, Gregory is widely respected. He may not join the team in the pub every Friday evening but he is fiercely loyal to them. That said, there are still many issues to resolve, not least whether the UK team needs strengthening.
Gregory gives his support for the UK managing director, Jason Cotterrell, and his team, as well as the way they have continued to grow the business through a period of instability.
But a clear mission for the company and Gregory’s hard-working ethic will come in handy if he wants to realise his vision for Exterion.
Via: Campaign Live

Andrew Morley Becomes CEO of Clear Channel UK

Andrew Morley, the former leader of Motorola, has been appointed chief executive of Clear Channel UK with immediate effect.
Morley replaces Matthew Dearden, who has been promoted to president of Clear Channel Europe.
He resigned as Motorola’s vice-president and general manager in the UK and Ireland in April, following its $2.9bn (£1.7bn) sale to Lenovo. A well known marketing leader, previously, Morley has been international vice president at Motorola, marketing director at Harrods Group and BSkyB, and a European marketing director at Ford.
Dearden joined Clear Channel four years ago to lead the UK business, and has helped develop a new investment strategy for the outdoor company.
He has lead the innovation programme with the introduction of the UK’s first small-format digital network in London and more recently led in the roll out of Connect, Clear Channel’s interactive mobile advertising platform, across the country.
He will continue to be based in London, and will still be involved in the UK business as part of his European role, and as Chair of Clear Channel UK.
Dearden told Media Week: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role in the UK business, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to now work on an international level as well. There are three key areas that I want to focus on.
“Firstly, harnessing powerful understanding of our advertisers, partners and markets. Secondly, designing and executing effective strategies using this insight.
“Finally, and most importantly, I will be working with leaders across the business to refine and develop all their ideas and develop them into clear action plans which drive the business forward.”
Via: Media Week