MRI staffs up for European expansion

US ’corporate barter’ company Media Resources International has hired a sales director and is seeking extra sales staff for its expansion into Europe.

US ’corporate barter’ company Media Resources International has

hired a sales director and is seeking extra sales staff for its

expansion into Europe.



Steve Lloyd, ex-new business director at MRI’s arch rival Active

International, will be responsible for explaining the corporate barter

concept to potential clients.



MRI takes a client’s surplus goods, such as unused train tickets or out

of date computer equipment, and sells them on to ’re-marketers’ such as

discount warehouses.



The client is then paid for the goods in ’trade credits’ which are used,

in MRI’s case, to purchase advertising space. To pay for the space, MRI

offers media owners a product, which has come from the same or another

client, such as computers or office equipment, conferences, corporate

hospitality, competition prizes or train tickets.



Lee Arthur, another recruit from Active International, has been

recruited as associate media director try to get media owners on

board.



Arthur, who reports to MRI’s European media director Maureen Lewis, will

also sit down with media agencies like MediaCom TMB and Mediapolis - who

both work with MRI - to plan media campaigns.



MRI already handles pan-European corporate bartering for clients such as

IBM, Polygram Video, Dunlop Slazenger and Titan Watches and has offices

in Amsterdam, Sweden and Warsaw.



However, it is looking to open more offices across Europe and seeks

sales staff with one to ten years experience to spread the word on

corporate bartering from its London headquarters and overseas.



MRI has imported Rob Provine from the company’s New York office as chief

operating officer to oversee the European expansion plan.



Simon Lee, chief executive officer of MRI said: ’I anticipate we will

more than doubled our existing staffing levels of 22 in the next six

months. The London office is the focal point for our European growth,

providing the support services for all of the operating units currently

being launched. That means adding to our media and sales strength.’



While there are only two large corporate barter companies operating in

the UK, there are a dozens of big players in the US, where the industry

is worth an estimated pounds 5.3 billion (according to The Wall Street

Journal).



Arthur explained: ’Corporate barter has grown over the past 30 years in

North America to become a mainstream media tool for clients in

manufacturing and distribution. The industry is more embryonic in Europe

but clients in the media and advertising worlds are starting to realise

its potential.’



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