Carlton Communications is planning to offer advertisers cinema
sales packages across the UK and US following its acquisition of the
American operation Screenvision.
According to a source at Carlton, the company intends to install a team
within Carlton Screen Advertising to sell the UK/US deals.
It is understood the team will act as a one-stop shop. It will offer
buyers greater efficiencies for global brands - such as Nike and
PlayStation - that want to buy across Europe and the US.
Martin Bowley, chief executive of Carlton Sales, said he had not yet
decided on the structure or nature of the sales team. He said the
opportunities for advertisers were ’enormous, given that the movies are
the same, the cinemas are the same and the target audience is the same’
on both sides of the Atlantic.
Bowley said the packages could be available from the end of the year and
claimed the plan had generated a large amount of interest from
advertisers and agencies.
’Just imagine, as an advertiser you’ll be allowed to follow Nicole
Kidman all over the world without getting arrested,’ he said.
Cinema advertising is not as sophisticated in the US as it is in the UK
and Carlton sees this as an opportunity to exploit the potential of the
US screen advertising market.
Screenvision controls more than 65 per cent of its market and sells
advertising in 32 per cent of cinemas in America, playing to audiences
of 44 million each month.
However, cinema advertising accounts for just 0.1 per cent of all
display advertising in the US, compared with 1.2 per cent in the UK.
Michael Green, chairman of Carlton said: ’The US box office has hit a
30-year high, yet the advertising market is very underdeveloped.’
Green added that if cinema display advertising in the US could be
expanded to the UK’s level, then the American market could be worth
around dollars 1 billion a year. Green claimed this growth would be used
to fund the capital investment required for digital cinema.
Screenvision was sold to Carlton by three private investors. The US
company generated sales of dollars 40.3 million and pre-tax profits of
dollars 6.4 million in the year ending 31 December 1999, up from dollars
2.5 million for the previous year.