Mike Baker to step down as CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre

Mike Baker, the CEO of outdoor trade association the OMC, has announced that he will step down from his post no later than March 2015, and will wind down his involvement with the trade body from January 2015 onwards.
The news has triggered a strategic review to scope OMC’s future, to be led by Mark Craze, formerly Group CEO of Havas Media.
“I have been developing a media services start-up called Wossname which has been taking more of my time recently,” Baker said in a statement. “Even though my role at OMC is not full time, I am finding it impossible to cover all that the job requires while still giving the start-up its proper care and attention.
“The outdoor sector is in a great place and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the OMC. I will have been nearly five years in the role and I am proud of all the team has achieved.
“The industry continues to grow its share of display advertising, media owners are investing heavily in the future, and advertisers are finding more reasons to include outdoor media on their media plans.”
Baker took over the Outdoor Advertising Association in May 2010, rebranding the trade body as the OMC in January 2011 and giving it a more marketing-led direction. His achievements include the Customer Journey research, Power of 5 programme and the Outdoor Works conference in autumn 2013.
“We are sorry to see Mike go and we thank him for his contribution,” said Naren Patel, CEO of Primesight and chairman of the OMC.
“The out of home industry is well placed to benefit from the continued improvement in the economy. Advertisers continue to rely on Out of Home to achieve cost effective cover, while Digital screens are bringing in new tactical advertising revenue.
“We have very ambitious and exciting goals for OOH and are going to take this opportunity to fully evaluate the role of the OMC.”
Source: MediaTel

Outdoor Advertising Can be a Force for Good Argues Outdoor Media Centre Chief Mike Baker

Outdoor advertising can be used as a force for good having improved its standing as a communications platform in recent years, the chief executive of the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) Mike Baker has claimed.
Speaking to The Drum Baker discussed how outdoor media can be used as a force for good and opened up on the undertakings and partnerships it has formed in order to improve its reputation in recent years, where he said that it had fallen from becoming the second most complained about media to fifth.
Baker spoke about Government messaging and how it is used to inform the public on health messaging around responsible drinking and safe sex, the organisation’s charter that prohibits outdoor media sites from being located within the vicinity of schools and how it has worked with the ASA to improve messaging standards.
“People see it as a source for good and a source of information and entertainment. Broadly they are very happy to pass billboards and to edit the experience that they get themselves from the messaging that they see displayed on those advertising sites,” stated Baker on the positivity that outdoor media can now claim to generate.
The Outdoor Media Centre will headline partner this year’s Creative Out of Home Awards, which will take place on 26 November in London. Other sponsors include Primesight, BlowUp Media, Ubiquitous, KBH on Train Media, VeriFone and Rapport.
Via: The Drum

Why Advertisers are so Keen to get Outdoors

Outdoor advertising is in rude health and its digital revenues are up 30% year on year. So what’s behind the success, and what innovations can we expect to see in the future? Newsline asked Mike Baker, CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre, to explain…
Outdoor media – it’s easy to see the appeal on a day like today – blazing sunshine driving everyone out into the open air to top up the tans acquired on recent holidays. Too many tourists as always but what can you do? It’s all good.
The Vitamin D analogy first developed in our Power of 5 piece Sunshine and Propaganda still holds true. Vitamin D keeps us all looking and feeling good, with colour in our cheeks and a skip in our stride. In the same way, outdoor advertising is the Vitamin D for brands, keeping them in the public eye, reminding us all of the brands’ vitality and presence.
Brands in our public space are healthy, visible, reaching out to us, “mentally available”. Brands that are not “out there” in the real world are pale and wan, out of sight and out of mind.
That was certainly the sponsors’ belief during 2012’s outdoortastic Olympic Games, and the same view seems to have prevailed in Scotland this summer at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Reports from on the ground suggest a busy outdoor media landscape, including large and small format banners, airport welcome signage, wrapped buses and lively roadside activity. All this and more drove outdoor to healthy growth of 6.4% year on year in Q2.
More good news this summer came from Cannes Outdoor Lions, where the UK’s poster industry thrived, winning 18 creative awards. Cannes underlined the health of the medium worldwide, with outdoor being the sole traditional medium with more entries than last year, a rather impressive 5,660 in total.
It wasn’t just pretty pictures either – in the Cannes Effectiveness Lions Awards 2014, out of home had a spectacular showing, featuring in 44% of campaign entries and no less than 92% of shortlisted entries. In that respect, outdoor was second only to social media, which featured in every single shortlisted entry. For reference, newspapers and telly both featured in 58% of the shortlisted campaigns. The commentary suggested, “Outdoor seems to be increasingly a strategic choice for lower budget campaigns and may be a way to quickly achieve mass coverage in markets where television audiences have become fragmented.”
So what are the driving forces behind the growth? First, the sheer weight of advertisers using some form of outdoor in their media mix. According to Nielsen, 96 of the top 100 UK advertisers are finding a place for outdoor in their brand communications.
The profile of that broad advertiser base expands and evolves over time, so for example both Asda and Morrison’s featured in our top 10 spenders list, according to Nielsen this past quarter. That’s the first time I can remember two supermarket groups being in the top ten. I hope it’s starting a trend, since retail is a huge category for us to develop further.
Secondly, the extraordinary level of investment by outdoor media owners keeps providing a stream of high quality opportunities for advertisers. I estimate £50m has been spent on new advertising equipment each year for the last five years, and this year is no different.
The sheer investment is tangible evidence of media owners’ confidence in outdoor’s future. And again, there’s evolutionary change in what is being offered. At the turn of the millennium, there were some 35,000 roadside billboards of various hues in the UK. Nowadays there are fewer than 20,000, as the media owners consolidate, cull poor sites, and drive for quality rather than quantity.
Digital revenues, up a staggering 30% this quarter, lie at the heart of that development, and two thirds of the OMC’s 35 members now have some digital in their offering. More than ten companies are solely or primarily digital, and the race is on to provide a compelling national footprint, expanding outside the capital. This proposition underlies, I’m sure, Ocean Outdoor’s recent move to acquire Birmingham outdoor company Signature.
With all the investment in plant, the industry is truly changing the urban landscape, creating iconic structures and placing unmissable signage in key locations. That new signage creates new urban fabric and adds an aesthetic wow factor to the skyline. It also changes the media landscape, empowering brands to connect with people in ways that were not possible even five years ago.
Ad signage now sits seamlessly alongside directional signage rather than clashing with it, contributing positively to the ambience, and encouraging travellers and shoppers to interact in railway stations, retail malls, airports and subways. Those ad structures are nowadays very much part of the concept from the drawing board stage, as video interviews with franchise partners as diverse as TfL, Land Securities, Gatwick Airport, and Westfield Shopping Centres have confirmed.
All this digital inventory can now be harnessed at scale by advertisers for single one-shot activity. There’s no better example than the Missing People charity, who have found 200 people as a direct result of their appearing on digital signage – some of the missing phoning in personally after seeing an appeal in their area with their name and photo.
It’s a good example of showcasing what’s possible when the industry works together to deliver a real and tangible benefit. Another recent example was the coordinated “Lights Out” campaign on digital signage which commemorated the centenary of World War One on 4 August. At six hours’ notice, a dozen digital media owners mobilised to carry the campaign – the type of collaboration I’m sure we’ll see much more of in future as advertisers get wise to the short-term opportunities which digital OOH now offers.
It’s true we are still some way short of real time programmatic buying, but the outdoor equivalents are wide-ranging, as innovative media planners continue to demonstrate. Pre-planned campaigns with ready-made copy wait to be triggered by a passing car of a particular marque (Mini), an NFC engagement (Despicable Me) or touchscreen (Fosters Smart Casual). Such triggers can include sports scores (Panasonic), train destinations (Eurostar), hyperlocal search (Google Outside), temperature (McCains), local recruitment (Reed) and many more.
There are three final factors which give us positive feelings for a bright future in out of home. The first is the ever growing audience – its sweet spot being young, urban, mobile, affluent, connected – now accessible through a range of smart tools such as Route.
This light TV viewing audience makes an excellent counterweight to other media, offering incremental reach and frequency, and a balancing of impacts in key demographic groups. Outdoor delivers a quality national audience of massive scale.
Secondly there’s the context in which the ad is delivered – the active space, we call it, and the more we find out about this space, the more convincing the evidence becomes. It’s not just contextual relevance, time, and proximity, although these are important too. We now know from skin conductivity research this year that people are 33% more alert out of home than when indoors at home.
Intercept interviews in the UK’s streets also tell us that seven out of 10 people you reach out of home are in active purchase mode – they are actually out there with the purpose of buying something, so you are catching them in exactly the right mindset.
And finally there’s the visual branding opportunity, because outdoor creates impressions that last: sumptuous large scale creative imagery which has a way of burning itself into our memories, and which we can access subsequently at physical or online point of sale.
The visual sense is our strongest sense by far, using more bandwidth than all the other sense put together, and outdoor harnesses that bandwidth. According to media planning guru Les Binet of adamandeveDDB (“The Long and the Short of it”), the branding effects of outdoor are on a par with the branding effects of television. Who are we to argue with that?
Via: MediaTel

Out of Home Adspend Forecast to Exceed £1bn in 2014

In the final part of MediaTel’s series looking in detail at the latest UK adspend forecasts, Suzy Young, data and journals director at Warc, exmaines how new digital technology is accelerating growth for the out of home sector.
In Q1 2014, out of home advertising expenditure dipped 2.2% compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest data released in the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report this week. But this is expected to be just a temporary blip, and Warc forecast consistent growth throughout the rest of the year and into 2015.
Warc predict annual growth in the out of home sector of 2.7% in 2014, reaching a total of £1,017m. This is the first time the sector will have surpassed the £1bn mark. The pace of annual growth is expected to accelerate to 5.9% in 2015, or £1,077m.
In recent years the out of home sector has performed consistently well, recording year-on-year growth in all but four of the last 31 years, with these dips occurring in line with the total ad market, following economic recessions and the dotcom crash in 2001.
Note: Outdoor Media Centre; AA/Warc. Source: AA/Warc Expenditure Report.
The London Olympics in 2012 provided a significant boost to out of home ads in particular, with spend rising 25.4% year-on-year in Q3 2012 and helping the annual total increase by a strong 9.5%.
According to YouGov research, 62% of visitors to the Games were aware of outdoor advertising related to the event. Consequently, the AA/Warc had initially forecast a drop in adspend for 2013 given the lack of a similar event, but out of home maintained its upward trajectory to register growth of 2.0%.
One of the key reasons for this success is the sector’s rapid adoption of new digital technology. As the chart shows, digital’s share of total out of home advertising expenditure has grown significantly over the last 11 years – when the traditional vs. digital formats were first tracked. Digital adspend has grown from a 1.4% share of adspend in 2003 to a 21.6% share in 2013.
Mike Baker, CEO at the Outdoor Media Centre, said: “In 2013, outdoor beat expectations, growing 2% over the spectacular Olympic year. What’s behind the continued growth? Digital is the main driver, with consistent investment by media owners into high profile sites such as Clear Channel’s Storm panels on Cromwell Road and Outdoor Plus’ Vauxhall Cross.
Note: Outdoor Media Centre; AA/Warc. Source: AA/Warc Expenditure Report.
“Importantly, the footprint of digital has expanded geographically, including JCDecaux’s Trinity Leeds, Mediaco’s Citylive sites in Manchester, as well as new sites in Newcastle (Ocean), Birmingham (Signature) and Glasgow (Forrest) and Cardiff (blowUP).
“Advertisers continue to find a place for outdoor on their schedules, and the number of million-pound clients now stands at 159. Route, our audience measurement system, now covers just about all the environments.”
According to the Route research carried out by the Outdoor Media Centre (and also published in topline form as part of the Expenditure Report), roadside panels accounted for 28.4% of all out of home panels monitored in March this year (372,818 panels). The next biggest formats were tube carriage interiors at 24.4% and bus panels at 18.1%, as detailed in the chart below.
Source: Route, Outdoor Media Centre; AA/Warc.
Via: MediaTel

LoveContent 2014 – Digital OOH Creative Awards Announced

Creative showcase for the digital out-of-home industry, LoveContent has announced its 2014 Showcase & Awards program. Sponsored by Spafax and working in association with the Outdoor Media Centre, the LoveContent team are calling for campaign submissions from creative agencies, digital network owners, outdoor planners and DOOH advertisers across 7 award categories.
For 2014, LoveContent will be seeking contenders for the most innovative campaign idea; the best creative use of a digital site, the best branded creative; and the overall best or most ambitious digital campaign of the year. We are also pleased to be introducing some new categories; sales team of the year; the planning award and the pitch of the year award.
Launched in 2011, LoveContent has become a unique reference point for the fast developing digital out-of-home industry. Its online archive has over 200 examples of creative campaign work that demonstrate not only the fantastic opportunity digital out-of-home offers, but how quickly the reach and technical capabilities of the medium are maturing.
Niall mcBain, CEO of headline sponsor Spafax explains:
‘Growing at more than 20% a year, the UK DOOH industry has seen remarkable investment in digital infrastructure over the past few years – with high quality screen installations transforming our roadsides, shopping malls, transport hubs and stadiums up and down the country. These new digital canvases provide an incredible technical and creative opportunity for those brands brave enough to embrace it. The LoveContent Awards are all about acknowledging the organisations that are really pushing the boundaries and driving this medium forward to ever greater heights’.
The website at will be open for submission on Monday 7th July and the first round of judging will take place by the middle of September. For 2014, judging is open to all members of the DOOH Industry organisation ‘The Screen’ and to any attendees of their thought-leadership briefing events over the last 12 months. Final adjudication will be overseen by a small panel of industry commentators under the watchful eye of Mike Baker, CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre, before a special Awards ceremony to be held at The Charlotte Street Hotel, London on November 4th.
For more information or to submit entries, please contact:
Lisa Goldstein at The Screen: M: +44 (0) 7952 407 974 E: or visit

Changing the Landscape- Outdoor 5- Now Available Online

For those of you who were unable to attend the Outdoor Media Centre’s Changing the Landscape event held earlier this month, the content can now be viewed, downloaded and even watched on their website.

OOH Q1 2014 Revenue Figures Released

DIGITAL UP 10% TO £47.4M

The Outdoor Media Centre (OMC), the trade body for outdoor media owners, today announces total revenues for January to March 2014.
For the quarter, the headline total reported across all outdoor is £206.8m, which represents a decline of 2.2% year on year. Digital revenues amounted to £47.4m, up 10% year on year to record its biggest ever Quarter One. Digital accounted for 23% of the total.
Mike Baker, CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre comments:
“It’s been a mixed quarter, with two environments up and one down. Revenues in the transport and retail/leisure sectors both moved ahead, but this was offset by a decline in the roadside market. Even within roadside, however, the small format 6 sheet component was up substantially. We have now seen growth in eight out of the last ten quarters, so the momentum is with outdoor as more advertisers find a need for strong creative imagery strategically placed in the active space where 88% of shopping still takes place.”
Categories which spent significantly more in the quarter on outdoor than last year include drink, clothing, computers, food, electronics, finance, and government. The top 10 advertisers in the quarter according to Nielsen were  British Sky Broadcasting, ITV, Lloyds Bank, Twentieth Century Fox, Department Of Health, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Vodafone, McDonald’s, EE, and Unilever.
The importance of outdoor was underscored by the WARC Expenditure forecast published today, which reported that, of the major media, only internet, TV and outdoor showed growth in 2013.
Via: OMC

People 33% More Alert Out of Home

People out of home have a 33% heightened alertness compared with people in home, new research from the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) has revealed.
Conducted by COG Research and Dr Amanda Ellison, doctor of psychology at Durham University, the study analysed 140 continuous hours of monitored skin conductance readings by 20 subjects who also wore eye tracking glasses throughout their day.
Matching the skin conductance highs and lows to actions and places in their daily lives, the research determined that people are significantly more alert outside of the home than in.
“This ground breaking research puts numbers to what we all sense, namely that we move around out of home in a sharper and more focused frame of mind,” said Mike Baker, CEO of the OMC.
“That has a real benefit to advertisers, who can use [the research] to target consumers at different points in their day. Contextual planning is a real benefit of the outdoor medium, and now we know that our audience is one third more attentive.”
COG Research also teamed up with OnDevice Research for another study to measure people’s mood, analysing 3,563 individuals via their mobiles at different times of day and in different places.
The results found that a consistently higher percentage of those out of home claimed to be feeling “energetic and active”, and took action at a higher rate for outdoor ads compared to other media. 23% searched for more information on a mobile device after seeing a recent outdoor ad, compared to 16% for other media
To view the full presentation and videos, click here.
Via: MediaTel and Outdoor Media Centre

No Olympic blues for outdoor, as sector grows 2% in 2013

Ongoing investment in digital outdoor sites has helped the sector to build on the highs of the London 2012 Olympics and achieve unexpected growth of 2% in 2013.
New figures compiled by the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC), based on the performance of its industry members, highlight a record quarter four was enough to lift annual revenues by 2% to near the billion-pound mark, at £989.6 million.
Between October to December 2013, outdoor advertising generated £277.3m, which represents growth of 7.2% year on year and is the biggest quarterly spend ever reported by outdoor media owners.
Media owners, including the biggest players JCDecaux, Clear Channel, Exterion Media and Primesight, particularly benefitted from spend in retail, entertainment, travel, drink, computers, clothing and cosmetics during the Christmas period.
The top 10 advertisers in the quarter, according to Nielsen, were (in descending order) Samsung, British Sky Broadcasting , Twentieth Century Fox, Lloyds Bank, Vodafone, Warner Bros, Google, Microsoft, Talktalk and Molson Coors.
Digital revenues in the quarter accounted for £64.6m, up 15% year on year. The revenue highs follow continued investment in digital screens that often promise more tailored and flexible ad solutions for brands.
Collectively, outdoor media players are believed to have spent more than £50 million on bringing a host of new sites to the market last year.
New digital sites of note in 2013 include: Waterloo Station and Heathrow Terminal 2 (JCDecaux); Tesco’s facial detection screens (Amscreen); Chiswick Towers, Cromwell Road and Piccadilly Circus (Clear Channel Storm); Gatwick Airport (Eye),Vauxhall and the A40 (Outdoor Plus), Trinity Leeds shopping centre (Ocean’s The Grid), regional offerings from BlowUP and Signature in Birmingham, Mediaco in Manchester and Forrest in Scotland.
The growth in the UK’s outdoor advertising space comes despite the sector being among the biggest media sectors to benefit from the London 2012 Olympics, when ad spend rocketed 10% annually in 2012, and more than 25% in the third quarter during Games.
Mike Baker, chief executive of OMC, called it a “remarkable” performance after such an Olympic spike . He added: “Outdoor is a sure-fire way to reach the right consumers in the active space, the right contexts and the right mindsets, and as a result advertisers are multiplying: we now have 158 one million-pound spenders in outdoor, up from 149 last year.”
This year, the OMC is attempting to refocus outdoor’s positioning to the advertising community around five core value propositions: Young Urban Mobile audience; The Active Space – where the senses are heightened; Impressions that Last – playing on its visual impact; The Amplification Medium – due to its ability to be a catalyst for other media in terms of reach and branding; and Changing the landscape – physically creates modernity at every turn and provide new opportunities for brands.
Via: Brand Republic

The Outdoor Media Centre launches Outdoor to the Power of 5

The Outdoor Media Centre announced the launch of its new value proposition “Outdoor to the Power of 5”. This is a crystallisation of five specific benefits of the outdoor medium to advertisers.
Mike Baker, CEO of the Outdoor Media Centre, the trade body for outdoor media owners explains:
“Effectively we are saying that there are five things we do really well as a medium. These benefits work together as a collective to make outdoor advertising a uniquely effective and contemporary medium for advertisers, delivering real impact and sales effectiveness.”
A series of design icons support the five points, and these also appear in a motion graphic to be found at The Power of 5 is a mnemonic to help planners call the outdoor medium’s key advantages to mind.
Young Urban Mobile audience. The people you reach most with Outdoor are the people you most want to reach. Young, urban, affluent, connected and mobile consumers are the ones who see the most outdoor advertising, and also the ones who take most action as a result. They are light TV viewers and a ready-made and highly attractive target audience for a wide range of brands.
The Active Space. Outdoor is the active space, where the senses are heightened and we take more in than when we are inert at home. The consumer is alert, mobile and in buying mode, phone at hand and wallet in pocket. The active space is a step away from a real world purchase and a nudge away from a virtual one. There are a rich variety of environments for targeting mobile audiences by activity, context, proximity and mind-set.

Impressions that Last. The power of visual branding harnesses our most powerful sense, our sight, to leave a memorable visual impact. Outdoor helps brands to make impressions that last longer, not just on the street but in the mind. The best outdoor creative has the capacity to stick with us and can be recreated from memory even years later – think The Economist, Hello Boys, Apple Ipod or Wayne Rooney St George’s cross.
The Amplification Medium. Outdoor works as a catalyst for all other media to give your message greater net reach and branding depth. Outdoor and TV achieve the strongest branding effects and featured most prominently at the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions. From TGI, we know the outdoor audience confidently influences by word of mouth and social media. More mobile searches are generated by Outdoor ads than other media.
Changing the Landscape. Outdoor is at the heart of change, creating modernity at every turn. It is changing the physical, visible, tangible landscape we live in, transforming the look and fabric of cities. But it’s also changing the media landscape and allowing brands to do all sorts of new things with cutting-edge technology, in the interface where consumers engage personally with brands.
These 5 benefits of outdoor are to be demonstrated to advertisers and media planners in a series of events to cover the next 12 months. New research and case studies will underpin the proposition. This builds on the recent Outdoor Works conference, which focussed on how outdoor’s advantages drive sales value and effectiveness for advertisers.Outdoor to the Power of 5 has been a collaboration not just between outdoor media owners, via the OMC’s marketing committee, but also participants from among the outdoor specialists, such as David Gordon at Posterscope and Nick Mawditt at Talon Outdoor. It is the first time that the sell side and the buy side have collaborated to forge a new proposition to bring to market.