KBH Digital expands on-board advertising network

KBH Digital, the specialist digital division of KBH On-Train Media, has secured the contract to provide advertising and sponsorship opportunities across Greater Anglia’s newly-launched Wi-Fi network and on-board entertainment service.
The win paves the way for KBH Digital to connect brands with the Greater Anglia audience, which comprises 82 million passenger journeys each year. It marks an expansion of the company’s portfolio of on-train and transport digital advertising partners, which already includes South West Trains, Stansted Express and c2c, plus National Express Coaches.
The Greater Anglia media portal is provided by on-board infotainment systems developer GoMedia and will feature TV boxsets from hayu and NOW TV, as well as digital magazines and movie trailers, and the latest news and sport from Reuters. Passengers will be able to stream the content to their smart devices through an app, available on the App Store and Google Play, or via a web browser.
KBH Digital founder and Managing Director Harjit Badesha said: “We are delighted to extend our digital advertising offering to the Greater Anglia network. This is a fantastic way for brands to engage with the highly-desirable commuting audience before, during and after their journeys via our digital solutions.”
Andy Camp, Commercial Director at Greater Anglia, says: “We recognise that connectivity plays a key role in modern-day rail travel and we are delighted to have worked with KBH Digital and GoMedia to bring our passengers an on-board infotainment system with up-to-the-minute news, entertainment and travel information. This is one of the ways we’re hoping to improve customers’ journeys.”
Via: OutSmart

Posterscope round table discusses: How do we solve a problem like creativity?

Group photo  (back row, l-r) Gideon Spanier, head of media, Campaign; Stephen Whyte, CEO, Posterscope UK; Julian Linley, multimedia consultant; Barnaby Dawe, global chief marketing officer, Just Eat; Claire Beale, global editor-in-chief, Campaign; Helen Weisinger, chief client officer, Outdoor Plus; Glen Wilson, managing director, Posterscope UK; (front row, l-r) Emma de la Fosse, chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather Group UK; Nicky Bullard, chairman and chief creative officer, MRM Meteorite; Rick Hirst, CEO, Carat UK; Justin Tindall, group chief creative officer, M&C Saatchi; Sir John Hegarty, founder, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and The Garage; Robert Campbell, creative entrepreneur and founder of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R; Katie Dulake, head of brand and marketing, TSB Bank

Marketers, creatives and media owners were invited by Posterscope to discuss out-of-home creativity. Campaign’s Stuart Derrick listened in.

You don’t have to press advertising folk or marketers too hard to come up with their favourite poster campaign. Whether it’s The Economist’s clever copy, British Airways’ “#lookup”, numerous eye-catching Nike ads, Araldite’s iconic stuck-on car poster, or any number of mood-shifting political campaigns, out-of-home packs a memorable punch.

Gideon Spanier, Campaign‘s head of media, who chaired the debate on the state of creativity in OOH, kicked off the conversation with the recognition that, while the £1bn sector is in rude health, with revenue up for the eighth year in a row, there remains a concern that not all marketers and creative agencies are still inspired to create engaging OOH creative.

Posterscope CEO Stephen Whyte said: “OOH has a long history of strong, impactful creative and, today, brands such as Apple are using it to great effect, but lately this has tended to be an exception rather than the norm.”

He asked what the challenge is for creative teams, and why they are not excited about the creative opportunity in OOH. “As an industry, we need to do more to champion the creative strengths of the medium. Seeing more powerful, engaging OOH will be the best way to motivate both agencies and clients to want and demand the best work for their brands.”

And creatives themselves still love OOH. Emma de la Fosse, chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather Group UK, said: “When I trained, distilling the campaign message to four words on a 48-sheet was considered the skill of advertising. It’s what got me into the industry.”

With many evolving formats, the medium may have lost its essence by trying to be all things, according to Justin Tindall, group chief creative officer of M&C Saatchi. “It’s become a generalist in a world obsessed with specialists,” he added.
Barnaby Dawe, global chief marketing officer of Just Eat, appreciates the traditional marketing mix and the extreme measurability of pay-per-click in equal measure. OOH is one of his brand’s key advertising channels.

“The climate in which we operate, where the CEO and CFO want to see ROI, means that PPC becomes an unhealthy addiction, with its ability to demonstrate instant effectiveness,” he said. “Outdoor is up against both traditional broadcast media and also new media, such as carousel and canvas ads on Facebook. As a generalist marketer, I’m keen to show how effective a combination of both performance and outdoor media can be.”

Creative solutions
Creative legend Sir John Hegarty, founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty and The Garage, said the challenge faced by OOH is also manifest in the wider ad industry.

“A generation of marketing directors are failing to understand how to build powerful brands – they confuse persuasion and promotion,” he argued. “Focusing on just short-term promotional messages. They’ve lost faith in long-term brand building. Maybe it’s too difficult for them?”

In this environment, there has been a loss of bravery in committing to a medium that doesn’t have the rack of analytics of digital. “For clients who are driven by, and rewarded for, an almost instantaneous focus on results, it can be difficult to keep posters on the plan,” Rick Hirst, CEO of Carat UK, said.
Katie Dulake, head of brand and marketing at TSB Bank, added that OOH can play a different role. For a challenger brand, it provides reach. “Our brand purpose is bringing local banking back to the UK. It’s all about where people live and work, so OOH is great for that. It also supplements our physical brand presence – our branches – on the high street,” she said.

However, there was a feeling around the table that creative agencies don’t design for the medium. “A 48-sheet brief could have been career defining at one time,” said Claire Beale, global editor in chief of Campaign, who pondered whether creative directors still fought over them.

“We used to go out and look at poster sites to get an idea of context and where the message would be,” Robert Campbell, creative entrepreneur and co-founder of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, said. “People do not give it that time any more.”

Helen Weisinger, who recently joined Outdoor Plus as chief client officer from a creative agency background, said there was a knowledge gap in the market and education was the key. “Creative and measurement are the two areas where people don’t know what OOH can do yet,” she contended.

De la Fosse suggested specialist OOH media agencies and media owners should increasingly work with creative agencies to stimulate creatives and push boundaries, as was the case with Ogilvy & Mather’s “#lookup” campaign for British Airways.

Glen Wilson, managing director of Posterscope UK, suggested the industry might be lacking bravery, and that incentivising creativity either through reviewing the creative awards programmes for OOH or reducing the cost of inventory based on creative excellence might be the way forward.

Hegarty advised agencies to get back to basic principles and an understanding of how value is built.

“Technology enables opportunity, creativity creates value,” he said. “So, as posters increasingly become a digital offering, [they provide] creative opportunity and cultural importance. They should also embrace wall painting. Call it Craft Advertising. Think how famous Banksy became from his wall art.”

The consensus was that, rather than focus on what posters can and can’t do, there is a need to focus on deliverables and objectives – to get back to what OOH does best and change the conversation to highlight that this is a medium where creativity can flourish.

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“Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ is one of the best poster campaigns of the last three years. I don’t care how many pixels the camera has. If it takes pictures like that, I want it”

– Sir John Hegarty, founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty and The Garage


“If you can’t tell the story on a poster, it’s not a story worth telling”

– Nicky Bullard, chairman and chief creative officer, MRM Meteorite


“Data and technology present a great opportunity for DOOH but we shouldn’t ignore the scale, creative opportunity and fame-building strength the medium provides”

– Stephen Whyte, CEO, Posterscope

 “There’s pushback against clickbait to focus on quality content that speaks directly to an audience. It’s hard to gain attention through the noise online, but posters can cut through by virtue of being more environmental”

– Julian Linley, multimedia consultant

The full article on Campaign Live can be read here

Primesight Unveils its Largest Ever Digital Roadside Screens

Coca-Cola, Vodafone and Sky are among some of the first brands to advertise on Primesight’s first digital 96-sheet roadside panels.
The 10 new screens – the largest out-of-home format – will join 52 existing D48-sheets and form part of Primesight’s wider strategy to reach 100 digital roadside sites by the end of the year.
The latest additions are expected to give an ‘audience impact’ of almost 9.5 million, with Mondelez, BMW, Eurostar and British Airways also on board at launch.
“We’re thrilled to be building on last year’s success in rolling out Network with this new D96 panel, the largest and most ambitious format of its kind,” said CEO Naren Patel.
“Primesight is focused on offering a broader array of DOOH solutions to help drive the market forward and offer even bigger, more creative and dynamic solutions for clients.”
Vanessa Eagle, business director at Posterscope, said: “In this dynamic and evolving media market, the continuous development of new digital products makes OOH an exciting area for advertisers to invest.
“Our clients demand more flexibility, more contextual advertising and more opportunity to innovate and cut through. Large Format Digital OOH sites such as the Primesight Digital 96s deliver on these demands and we are delighted to work with Primesight for the launch of their new national packs.”
The news comes as Primesight takes control of Manchester Airports Group’s ad contract for the next five years, which covers four UK airports at Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth.
Via: MediaTel

Posterscope Win Connected Agency of the Year at Mediatel Connected Consumer Awards

Today, 5th May, Posterscope won Connected Agency of the Year at the Mediatel Connected Consumer Awards.
Known as ‘The Connies’, the awards are held in celebration of those pioneering new advertising, technological and commercial opportunities in the connected industry.
Aimed at organisations that are devising and powering connected strategies, the shortlist represents a wide variety of media focused businesses – including media owners, agencies, consultancies and technology providers.
Posterscope had also been shortlisted in the ‘Best Research Project or Initiative’ category with their insight project ‘Dynamic Differences’ as well as Connected Agency of the year, alongside Carat UK.

DOOH will be the Fastest Growing Media Channel

Inspiring. Exciting. Versatile. Just three the emotions adland associates with digital Out of Home which is predicted to grow faster than mobile and video on demand over the next five years.
Two hundred and four executives drawn from both media agencies and the outdoor specialists sector responded to a study commissioned by premium digital out of home media owner Ocean to gauge the role, prospects and challenges for digital out of home in the current media landscape.
Key findings of the study:

  • DOOH is consider the Number 1 medium and is predicted to have the biggest growth in the next 5 years
  • DOOH is perceived as a tech-driven medium, closely aligned with online and mobile. It’s also described as the most innovative, creative and flexible medium in the market.
  • Executives differentiate DOOH from its competitors as being more sophisticated, exciting and inspiring

A substantial 86.3% study respondents identified digital Out of Home as having the biggest growth potential over the next five years, putting the medium ahead of mobile (67.2%), video on demand (60.8%) and every other media channel.
Digital Out of Home also scored higher than any other media channel for offering dynamic (83%), exciting (69%) modern (82%) and versatile (67%) advertising environments.
“The emotional index in our study shows how far DOOH has moved from the being a standard, passive medium to a channel which is modern, exciting and sophisticated, driving mobile and online,” said Ocean marketing group director Richard Malton.
“This shift in positioning is driven by technology like audience recognition, wifi and broadcast capability, which allows us to introduce even better targeting, interactions, creativity and results. The introduction of new trading models is also driving flexibility and value as never before.”
The study allows Ocean to create three specific media clusters;

  • Potential – DOOH, mobile, online, video on demand
  • Classic – radio, press and static out of home
  • Influential – TV, magazines and cinema

Cost and flexibility were two issues highlighted by survey respondents as issues to be addressed.
“DOOH needs to educate and prove to the industry it is audience, content and cost driven, “ said Richard Malton. “Automated planning and trading environments like Signature’s The Loop is a significant step towards achieving the necessary transparency and flexibility.”
Via: Outsmart 

Touch Points 6 reveals Television and OOH Continue to be the Largest Broadcast Media

The launch of the IPA TouchPoints6 Hub dataset highlights just how rapidly the communications landscape is changing in 2015. The behaviour patterns of all adults are evolving at a sure and steady pace whilst those of the digital natives – the so-called millennials – are undergoing radical change.
Here, Newsline presents the top 12 things anyone working in media needs to know about the latest findings.
1. The level of consumer ‘media meshing’, i.e. using two or more media at the same time, continues to grow with 87% of all adults now multi-media tasking each week – a five percentage point rise in reach since 2013 with a corresponding 8% increase in hours spent doing this.

  1. Television and OOH continue to be the largest broadcast media in terms of weekly reach and average hours spent with each medium, however, social networking and online continue to grow rapidly.
  2. 63% of all adults now use social media each week – this has risen from 44% in 2011. In comparison, millennials’ usage of social networking has increased from 74% to 86% in the same period.
  3. For millennials, the scale of their social media use now rivals their use of television and outdoor.
  4. Facebook is the dominant social networking site with a weekly reach of 58% of all adults and 82% of millennials. WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat complete the Top 5 social networking channels.
  5. Watching live/recorded television via a TV set now accounts for only 88% of all audio visual consumption. This share falls to 73% for millennials who spend 18% of their time watching catch-up/on demand/downloaded or streamed content, while 6% of their time is spent watching longer online videos and 3% of their time watching short online video clips.
  6. The Top 2 channels in the TV/video catch-up and subscription services are YouTube and Netflix. YouTube is the largest service in terms of reach with 17% of adults viewing each week for an average of 29 minutes – for millennials this rises to a 34% weekly reach and 34 minutes.

Only 14% of adults view Netflix each week but for a longer time (an average of 51 minutes) – again this rises to a 29% reach and 54 minutes viewed for millennials.

  1. In the audio market, live radio listened to via a radio set again only accounts for about three quarters of the market – for millennials this falls to 50% with their own personal music taking a 21% share and streamed online music taking a further 12% share.
  2. In the news market, printed newspapers account for 65% of all adult news consumption with a further 18% share going to online newsbrands – the other major source of news is BBC online with a 10% share.
  3. In sharp contrast, only 23% of millennials’ news consumption is via printed newsbrands, with a further 34% share via online newsbrands. BBC Online takes a 24% share, Sky News 5%, 3% for BuzzFeed and 2% for the Huffington Post.
  4. Looking at each medium’s volume of use by device, the majority of consumption is still via traditional means. For all adults 93% of television viewing is via a TV set, 76% of radio listening is via a radio set and 81% of published brands’ reading is in print.

For millennials these figures fall to 82%, 53% and 48%, respectively.
The primary digital device for viewing television is a PC, while mobiles lead for radio and there is a relatively even split between PCs, tablets and mobiles for published brands.

  1. The level of online shopping also carries on growing – 28% of adults shop online each week, accounting for 10% of their purchasing occasions. For millennials 32% shop online each week, accounting for 16% of their purchase occasions.

TouchPoints is a consumer-centric, cross media, cross device study. 5,000 adult respondents, living in GB, each complete an e.diary and self-completion questionnaire which together creates the TouchPoints Hub dataset. The TouchPoints6’s fieldwork period covered Feb-May 2015.
Via: Mediatel

Picking Up Signals: The March of Programmatic is Revolutionising TV and OOH Media

Programmatic has revolutionised online display advertising, and now it’s moving into other channels, with TV and outdoor advertising soon to be traded programmatically. Harriet Kingaby explores why this new means of buying and selling media means turning old models on their head.
As the digitisation of the out of home (OOH) sector continues, TV consumption patterns change and improvement in TV hardware allow for better data collection, programmatic media trading continues its revolutionary march across all sectors of the industry.
Last year, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that 28 per cent (circa £500m) of the UK digital display market was traded programmatically, and it predicts this will rise to between 60 per cent and 75 per cent by 2017. Although display is the most mature market, programmatic trading across most other sectors is also increasing, and TV and OOH are the next mediums to be talked about.
Importantly though, the characteristics and benefits of programmatic trading will look and feel very different to display.
‘Programmatic TV’ looks set to become an industry buzzword. The revolution in this sector will flip the traditional TV model on its head; instead of using programming data to find advertising placements, marketers will be able to use audience data gathered from set top boxes to find them. Unlike digital out of home (DOOH) and display advertising however, it is not a real-time ad buying technology, but a tool that enables better ad targeting to increase efficiency.
Digitisation of the OOH sector has been rapid and, according to PWC, looks to be revitalising it. According to Warc, DOOH accounted for 21.6 per cent of OOH spend in 2013 and can look forward to a seven per cent growth in 2015. The big opportunity for programmatic trading of DOOH is the ability to compare it with mobile and situational data. This allows identification of audience trends and therefore opens up creative opportunities for adverts to be rapidly placed and adapted depending on factors such as weather, individual flight arrivals and nearby sporting events.
Although much excitement surrounds the digitisation and programmatic trading of space in both industries, there are barriers to scaling both.
Scaling up TV in 2015
When discussing programmatic TV, it is important to distinguish what type of inventory you are referring to. Due to lack of industry faith in data and the high yields obtained by publishers when selling it, premium inventory on linear TV, such as an X Factor advertising slot, are unlikely to be traded programmatically any time soon. However, lower value inventory and video on demand (VOD) are seeing much greater interest.
The reason for this is simple. The existing system of up-front buying allows major networks to obtain high prices for premium inventory, creating little incentive for them to experiment with new ways of selling. Many cite the lack of quality of data available and ad fraud as reasons for continuing with the existing system. Understandably, they’re not keen to change a formula that works for them and advertisers fear losing exposure through experimentation, even if it would allow them to tailor, and therefore increase engagement with, their adverts.
Doug Ray, global president of Carat, puts it succinctly: “It’s about supply and demand; as long as demand is bigger than supply, there will be no systemic shift in linear TV.”
However, despite the spend and power it commands, linear TV isn’t the only inventory for sale. There’s also VOD and catch-up TV, where user sign ins and publisher collected data make targeting easier and give publishers more reassurance and control. Indeed, according to Warc, after mobile advertising, broadcast video on demand grew most of all the advertising sectors in 2014. Channel 4, for example, has recently set up its own exchange for VOD and, says Rupert Staines, European managing director of RadiumOne: “This is a trend that will increase over time as consumers move their video consumption over to mobile devices… programmatic is all about driving efficiency and effectiveness requires data and intelligence.”
Stuart Smith, the vice-president of client service at MediaOcean, cites Sky’s Adsmart as an industry leader: “Sky is in a unique position as it has the platform Sky box, and creates content and programmes too. That means it’s in a position to serve different people with different ads during the same programme. Compared to a Barb panel with half a million viewers, Sky can pull data from something like 11 million. However, of course, you’re still targeting households rather than individuals, so there will still be wastage.”
Simon Daglish, group commercial director at ITV, has notably been critical in the past of the use of secondary data to place programmatic ads. However, he is hopeful for the collection and use of this first-party data in providing a better all round experience for ITV viewers.
“We absolutely see the value of first party, permission based data, hence why we’re busy collecting it from our viewers with over seven million registered users of ITV Player already and growing fast. But that data is part of a willing value exchange between us and our viewers,” he says.
However, for the time being, for most, ‘dumb’ set top boxes do look to be a limiting factor in gathering data and placing advertisements.
Nicolas Bidon, managing director of Xaxis UK, describes the real winners in the short-term: “As the infrastructure continues to evolve and publishers begin to embrace the technology following demand from the advertisers, daytime TV and less valuable programmes will see more and more programmatic buying coming to the fore.”
Carat’s Ray also sees potential in niche cable networks collaborating with data services, saying: “Where we will see real growth is in the long tail low rated inventory, which today is undervalued and often bundled together with high demand inventory in order for the network to monetise it.
“The problem is that traditional ways of measuring TV ratings are survey based and when you get down to tiny audiences, the volatility of ratings and their ability to create a rating point falls off dramatically. With small niche cable networks, and particularly when you get to the daytime TV segments, audiences are so small that in traditional negotiations, we as humans can’t value it.”
Ray also predicts companies such as ABC working with Adap.TV and AOL to gather better data from new generation set top boxes to monetise these audiences.
Scaling DOOH in 2015
The digitisation of the OOH sector has transformed it. Digital screens allow much more flexibility than traditional posters and, when cross referenced with mobile phone data, can be tailored to their environment and audience in creative ways.
As James Davies, chief strategy officer UK and USA, Posterscope explains: “All those screens are interconnected and playable, so the capability that gives advertisers is significantly better than posters. They allow you to run real-time, dynamic creative and activate campaigns much more quickly. So you have all this new capability that comes with this connected medium.”
One example of this is the Stella Artois ‘Cidre’ campaign. Based on the insight that people are more likely to switch to cider when the weather is two degrees warmer than average, advertising space was only bought when the weather criteria was met.
However, Posterscope’s Davies describes how this is the exception, not the rule: “The industry needs to be able to accommodate lots of those campaigns running at same time. We need some pretty robust technology to allow us to do this, like they have in the online world, such as DSPs and teams in agencies to operate them.”
This is being addressed, but progress is slow. Gill Reid, head of out of home at MediaCom, describes how its recent VUKUNET programmatic direct platform trial was an exercise in streamlining the “end-to-end campaign buying and delivery process through an intuitive online interface, sending creative directly to digital screens, eliminating multiple manual processes and allowing clients and agencies to report on and optimise their campaigns in real-time”. Developing the platform would make the buying process more efficient, but more advanced platforms based on real-time bidding and auction models, such as ‘Vistar’ in the US, do exist outside of the UK.
In addition to the lack of robust DSPs, the availability of digitised real estate for programmatic trading poses the main barrier to growth. Markets such as Australia and Asia are advanced, but availability of this space in the UK outside London is limited. As advertisers seek to move with their consumers across multiple screens, trading systems improve and availability increases, it is clear that DOOH is an industry with enormous potential. Although these issues mean it unlikely to be the UK industry success story of 2015.
The scaling of programmatic trading of TV and DOOH require industry collaboration to improve data gathering and infrastructure. Advertisers, publishers and media agencies need work together to make more inventory available. Media and creative agencies must cooperate and broaden their skills sets to embrace a model of audience, rather than media trading. Indeed, considering advertising sectors in isolation seems dated, as consumers increasingly and indiscriminately consume media across multiple screens.
As RadiumOne’s Staines puts it: “We need to start and finish with trying to understand the consumer. They are constantly connected by multiple devices. The only way this industry will genuinely leap forward in terms of innovation, will be when we realise we have to operate as a system, not siloes. It’ll take time. All media will be, in some way, programmatically traded digitally because the fundamental part of the puzzle is the consumer, who is way ahead of the game.”
Via: The Drum

Media Playground Returns Next Week

On 3 November senior executives from across the industry will gather to debate some of the biggest issues facing digital media. Cutting through the hype to offer real thought leadership, MediaTel has gathered some of the best minds in the sector to help delegates understand the transformative and disruptive media shaping the future.
The line-up is impressive; including senior industry figures such as Jon Wilkins, chairman of Karmarama, Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press and Simon Daglish, group commercial director at ITV, to start-up companies including Future Ad Labs and Flocker.
The client world is represented by Merlin’s Jason Wills and Freestyle’s Rob Rees.
They will be joining a host of other top quality panellists, including Posterscope’s Chief Strategy Officer, James Davies, who will be talking about mobile and location. Chairing duties will be split throughout the full-day event between regular Newsline columnists Dominic Mills and Torin Douglas.
The agenda is far-reaching and includes:
– Disruptive TV – Where next?
– TV is going to be traded just like VOD…isn’t it ?
– Clients, agencies and media owners on the mobile and social challenge
– Innovation – the brightest new start-ups give us their pitches
– Keynote interview: Ashley Highfield, CEO, Johnston Press
– The new content world: Native, branded and social.
– Mobile – Location, location, location
– Understanding changing consumer behaviours

Event partners include: Decipher, VisualDNA, Experian, Livefyre, Lumen, The Bakery, and Weve – alongside Posterscope, Johnston Press, MediaCom, EE, Appflare, The Sharp End, Reload Digital, Freestyle Ltd, Merlin, Karmarama, Freesat, ITV, MobiTV, Yossarian, Race Yourself, Future Ad Labs and Flocker.

Tickets cost £250, with only the last few remaining.
Full line-up, agenda and booking details can be found on MediaTel’s events website.
Via: MediaTel

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

OOH Follows TV as 'Most Trustworthy' Medium

Consumers rate out-of-home as the next most trustworthy medium to TV, according to a new study.
The research, carried out by Future Foundation for FEPE International, revealed that 28% of consumers find television advertising ‘most trustworthy’, followed by 24% for OOH and 22% for press. Conversely, just 3% find online advertising the most trustworthy medium.
When asked which types of advertising are the most memorable, 46% of the 1,000 respondents from the UK, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa, voted for TV, 34% OOH and 7% press. Similarly, online scored a low 4%.
The research also revealed that half of urban consumers agree with the statement, ‘I like it when I see advertisements for products I already own,’ increasing to 54% for those aged 18-34.
The ‘post-purchase reassurance’ effect was particularly marked in technology products, which the report says highlights that OOH is a “trusted ad medium.”
Commenting on the research, FEPE International’s executive director, John Ellery, said: “We’re all aware of the power of TV and the growth of online advertising. But this major research study shows that out-of-home is a major force in the digital age as it is so highly valued by consumers.
“The growth of digital outdoor and NFC technology that allows consumers to interact with digital posters will only accelerate this trend.”
Via: Media Tel