CAMPAIGN MEDIA AWARDS 2003: Outdoor Sales Team Of The Year - JCDecaux

To sustain healthy levels of organic growth this year, JCDecaux set out to ensure it was perceived as a media partner and solutions provider dedicated to adding value for its clients. This called for a media literate sales team.

As well as recruiting a team from a wide variety of backgrounds, the group sales director, Spencer Berwin, and the group marketing director, David McEvoy, set up a year-long "changes and challenges" training scheme. Members of the sales team were asked to prepare and host training sessions for their colleagues. Special guest stars included Mandy Pooler, the chief executive of WPP's The Channel ... and Chris Eubank.

Mediaedge:cia and Colgate have benefited from JCDecaux's approach as a media partner. Both were concerned about the decline of TV ratings, the rise of TV airtime costs and an inability to reach a true broadcast audience. The JCDecaux account manager Kate Fitzgerald and the group head, Ian Reynolds, proposed a two-tiered approach: week-long tailored burst campaigns for brand launches combined with an ongoing drip presence, displaying the Colgate brand wherever there was availability.

Ford worked with JCDecaux on the Ford "family partnership". This included regular research tracking of all Ford media across all brands, and a bespoke website where Ford and its media agencies MindShare and Portland can access exclusive information on all campaigns.

"An intelligent approach, aggression, and large ears wrapped in a partnership strategy has made JCDecaux our fastest growing supplier to date," Carl Skinner, the buying director at Portland, said.

JCDecaux's growth, 8 per cent in 2002, owes a lot to its specialist units: Premiere, its prime site arm, and Innovate, its creative solutions brand.

Premiere has grown to an £8 million brand since 2001, accounting for 10 per cent of billboard revenue. JCDecaux says Premiere has helped cast a "halo effect" over its brand, improving its image.

Innovate has helped change the perception of the creative opportunities available to outdoor advertisers. For the UIP film Hulk, special billboards were constructed where the Hulk appeared to reach out to take a swipe at passing pedestrians. "I can have so many chats about doing something out of the norm but very few companies come back with the kind of highly creative executions and ideas that JCDecaux has come up with for this campaign," Steve Hunt, the media manager at UIP, said.

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