NEWS: Mills and Allen cracks down on poster-site subletting

By JANET IZATT, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 07 June 1996 12:00AM

The outdoor company, Mills and Allen, is clamping down on the subletting of its poster sites to political parties in the run-up to the next election.

The outdoor company, Mills and Allen, is clamping down on the subletting

of its poster sites to political parties in the run-up to the next

election.



The move follows Labour Party accusations of underhand tactics by the

Tories during the last general election, when its agency, Saatchi and

Saatchi, booked posters in Gillette’s name, without Gillette’s

knowledge.



Mills and Allen, which commands a 25 per cent share of 48-sheet poster

sites in the UK, is writing to poster specialists and relevant agencies

this week, warning them that all bookings in place on the day the

general election is announced must be honoured by the clients concerned.



‘It will not be acceptable to sublet, assign or broker the advertising

space to a ‘third’ party - including a political party,’ M&A’s

commercial director, David Pugh, said.



Pugh explained that advertisers who want to postpone their campaigns -

because they don’t want to compete for consumers’ attention in the

build-up to an election - will be able to do so, provided M&A can resell

the space to another advertiser and on the proviso that the advertiser

runs the booked campaign within three months of the original starting

date.



Tobacco and brewing companies have come under fire from the Labour Party

during the the last two general elections for providing space for the

Conservative Party. The two biggest-spending sectors in outdoor

advertising are now motoring and financial services.



During previous election campaigns, ads have allegedly been switched at

the last moment to ensure that there were no early leaks about a party’s

strategy before the posters went up.



Pugh admitted that the new contracts would help M&A increase revenue by

charging premiums for late bookings for political campaigns.



Francis Goodwin, managing director of Maiden Roadside, said that the

company already had contracts prohibiting subletting. He said that the

practice should be less of a problem during the next general election,

as considerably less space is booked 12 months in advance than it was at

the last election.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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