Former 8 Outdoor boss launches digital out-of-home business

Foris Outdoor says it will launch 500 large-format digital roadside screens by end of 2021.

Foris Outdoor: Brackenbury, Kelly and Roberts
Foris Outdoor: Brackenbury, Kelly and Roberts

A new digital out-of-home business, set to launch in the UK, claims it will become the biggest provider of large-format D48 landscape roadside screens in the UK by the end of 2021.

Foris Outdoor, which will launch on 25 November, said it currently has a network of 100 of the large 20ft by 10ft screens, with plans to increase that number to 500 by 2021.

It is founded by Cennydd Roberts, who was chief executive of 8 Outdoor until April.

8 Outdoor went into administration in August following the reported "termination" of its licence with landlord Insite that covered about 70 roadside screens. The screens were snapped up by Global.

Roberts has also held positions at Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor.

Foris said it was being backed by investors including Jonny Brackenbury, previously a director at Credit Suisse and an early investor and board director of Soho House, and Andrew Kelly, founder and owner of Open Outdoor, which he sold to Dentsu Aegis Network in 2018. 

Brackenbury and Kelly will join Foris board in early 2020 as chairman and non-executive director respectively. 

Foris has also appointed Pete Goldring as commercial director, Jane Garry as head of operations and Lucy Holder as head of sales. Goldring was formerly vice-president, UK sales, at Iotec Global. Garry's most recent role was at Adshel in Australia, while Holder was previously at 8 Outdoor.

The first 20 screens will go live from the end of January across Barnsley, Barrow-in-Furness, Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Stoke, Warrington and Wigan, with a further 20 screens set to go live each month throughout 2020 and 2021.

"We are going to replace the paper poster with a network of broadcast digital screens across both small towns and big cities, and to every corner of the UK," Roberts said.

"Our high-quality digital screens will provide advertisers with a cost-effective UK wide distribution at scale to meet the rising demand of DOOH."

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