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Ocean Group Partners with Searchlight Capital

Ocean Group has announced that Searchlight Capital Partners LP has acquired LDC’s entire stake in the business.
Announcing the new investor partner, Ocean Chairman Tom Goddard said: “This move marks the start of Ocean’s third expansion phase, which includes international development, alongside its UK big city growth initiative programme and further investment in innovative technologies that enhance both consumer and brand interaction.”
Tim Bleakley, Ocean CEO, said: “The next chapter will be the most exciting element of our long term growth plan and will enhance the value to our customers of both the Ocean and Signature businesses.
“The opportunities out there not only offer huge potential, but will redefine the out of home advertising market and its relevance in helping brands achieve their business objectives. We are pleased to be partnering with Searchlight and excited by their approach and belief in the sector and in our plan.”
Via: Ocean Outdoor

Ocean's Digital Out of Home Network Becomes Fully Wi-Fi Enabled

Ocean has launched Ocean Labs, a dedicated department of creative, technical, experiential, data and DOOH specialists.
www.oceanoutdoor.com/labs
The division launches this week with the roll out of wifi across Ocean’s digital out of home locations, allowing brands to run responsive campaigns which directly connect audiences with exclusive content.
Ocean marketing director Richard Malton said: “DOOH and connectivity go hand in hand.  For advertisers and brands this means they can now plan and execute seamless campaigns across digital out of home, leveraging the proven emotive response that large format digital outdoor delivers to make their creative content work even harder.”
Trials with partner brands have been running on Ocean’s full motion screens in Canary Wharf, London, St Enoch Glasgow and The Screen @Eat Street in Westfield, London. Wifi services will now be rolled out across The Grid (eight screens in six cities) immediately.
Ocean Labs is headed up by Catherine Morgan who said: “What makes this roll out compelling is the immediate call to action it gives advertisers in the all important retail environment. Whether it’s a chance to download an exclusive movie trailer, win a car, get to the head of the queue in a fashion sale or a superb daily deal, the advent of wifi is an out of home game changer.”
Commenting on the launch, Rob McGlynn, technical director of Hyperspace at specialist Posterscope, said: “The data capacity of Ocean’s wifi offers incredibly fast download speeds.  This allows brands the all important chance to establish an immediate and relevant connection with people in city centres and retail environments over and above DOOH’s impressive broadcast capability.”

Clear Channel Kicks off Digital Sites Expansion

Clear Channel has launched Play London, a three-part digital outdoor expansion strategy.
Play London comprises, firstly, the London Wrap, a new network of 40 digital 48-sheet screens across London. The first screen installation will take place on 1 October and the network will be completed by the end of December.
The second element of the expansion strategy is the more than doubling in size of the digital portfolio of Clear Channel’s premium digital brand Storm. This move will take the number of sites from nine to 20.
The final stage of the plan is the rebranding of the LD6 network of 100 digital six-sheets to Adshel Live.
Play London forms the first stage of an overall investment in UK digital outdoor, which will feature the nationwide expansion of Storm and Adshel Live with hundreds of sites planned across the country.
The outdoor media owner launched the Play brand in 2011, when it expanded its digital portfolio in malls.
Via: Campaign

Ocean Outdoor Presents Pulse Birmingham

Birmingham city centre offers one of the most rewarding retail and leisure opportunities in the country.

Pulse is Birmingham’s full motion city centre digital network, 4 key locations covering off all of the central retail and leisure areas of Birmingham.
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For more information visit Ocean Outdoor.

Ocean’s Banner Portfolio Grows to New Heights

Ocean’s banner portfolio now extends to the biggest three banners in Birmingham.
These banners are huge creative canvases, covering key strategic locations travelling into and out of the city to its creative and bustling hub.
The Banner @ Five Ways Birmingham 
The 1,019m² branding canvas is the biggest in Birmingham. With three faces it is located head on to traffic from all directions at the Five Ways roundabout – a gateway into Birmingham.
Banner 500
Dominating the Bullring approaches from Digbeth and Eastside, the 500m² banner is located in the Shoreditch of Birmingham where Digbeth’s clubs and restaurants, as well as the creative and media centre ‘The Custard Factory’, reside.
The Birmingham Archway
Dominating the A45, this is a permanent banner in Birmingham offering a double sided canvas capturing traffic travelling into the city and out towards the airport
Via: Ocean Outdoor

Smith Replaces Weston at Clear Channel

Clear Channel has hired Mark Smith, the planning operations director at Kinetic, in the new role of agency director, replacing Ged Weston, who is joining Eye Airports as sales director.Smith will work with Posterscope and Talon Outdoor and their media agencies, and with the other agency director, Kerry Hindhaugh, who handles Kinetic and its media agencies.He will report to Martin Corke, the Clear Channel sales director. Clear Channel recently promoted Corke to its UK management board.
Smith was the client service director at Kinetic between October 2010 and July this year, before becoming planning operations director. He will join Clear Channel as agency director in October.
Smith, who was at Kinetic and its predecessor Poster Publicity from 1998, was business director from 2004 and then a strategic planning director across EMEA between 2008 and 2010. He started his career in sales at TDI, now Exterion Media.
Chris Pelekanou, the commercial director at Clear Channel, said: “Mark’s appointment will get us closer to our advertising partners and make sure we continue to help brands reach their audiences.
“His knowledge and passion for out-of-home will be invaluable with so many exciting changes on the horizon.”
Via: Media Week

Ocean Outdoor Buys Signature Outdoor in £15m Deal

Ocean Outdoor has bought the West Midlands-based outdoor media owner Signature Outdoor in a deal estimated to be worth £15 million.
The co-founders of Signature Outdoor – Gerry Bew and Steve George – will join the Ocean Outdoor executive team led by Tim Bleakley, the chief executive. Signature Outdoor will also have a seat on the Ocean board.
Signature Outdoor’s digital sites and banners will now become part of the Ocean portfolio. Signature will continue to operate its backlight portfolio and some digital sites under the Signature brand and its six staff will be retained.
The deal follows Signature Outdoor winning the large format contract for Birmingham City Council in 2012.
The deal is comprised of both cash and Ocean Outdoor shares. Bleakley declined to comment further on the terms of the deal, which he said were undisclosed.
Ocean Outdoor itself changed ownership in 2012 after LDC Capital, the venture capital arm of Lloyds Banking Group, backed a £35 million management buyout.
Via: Brand Republic

Outdoor Plus Expands Portfolio as Part of Additional £10m Investment

Outdoor Plus has launched two new sites, adding to its portfolio and has announced a £10m investment package for 2014.
The two latest London sites on the A41 Hendon Way and at Purley Way Fiveways will be unveiled today.
The Hendon Way site is next to an arterial junction, which connects London’s commuter belt with the A41 and the Brent Cross shopping centre slip road, while the digital Purley Way Fiveways sight is on the route from Gatwick to London, and is close to the Valley Park retail hub.
Jonathan Lewis, managing director at Outdoor Plus, said: “We’re continuing to add to our network, giving brands access to the best sites in and around London, allowing them to tap into upmarket commuters, as well as people working in the heart of London.”
In April, Outdoor Plus also introduced a digital site in East London, on the A12 Cross Route.
Via: Media Week

Clear Channel UK Reviews Senior Leadership Team

Clear Channel has conducted a review of its senior leadership team which sees Victor Porter join the company in the newly-created role of Technology Director, and Sales Director Martin Corke promoted to the Board.
As part of the review, responsibilities for future products will be integrated into other functions of the business and as a result Alex Hollingdale; Product Director has decided to leave Clear Channel.
With the company set to embark on a new phase of their strategy, Marketing Director Emma Newman has decided that, having completed her marketing contribution to Clear Channel’s current three year plan the time is right to move on to a different opportunity.
Errol Baran, the Managing Director of Clear Channel’s new premium digital out-of-home brand Storm is also to leave the business. Errol was asked to build the Storm brand and business, as well as bring together a management team and develop the first all-digital out of home commercially flexible proposition. That is now complete and Errol leaves Storm in a great position for the future.
Andrew Morley, Chief Executive, Clear Channel UK said: “With both Clear Channel UK and UK out-of-home media set to go through a transformation, we’ve taken the opportunity to review our senior management team. Over the past two years, Clear Channel has pioneered innovative new technologies with the UK’s largest deployment of NFC and QR through our Connect mobile platform, and the launch of Storm.
“The appointment of a Technology Director of Victor’s calibre demonstrates how important we believe emerging technologies will be for brands and consumers in the future. Martin’s promotion is well-deserved recognition for his commitment, commercial acumen and the fresh approach he has brought to the role.
“I’d like to congratulate Victor and Martin and thank Alex, Errol and Emma for their contribution to the success that Clear Channel and Storm have enjoyed under their tenure.”
Via: Clear Channel

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