Between the Lines: More outdoor consolidation

The outdoor market has been a whirlwind of activity this year, not least in the specialist outdoor buying sector, which has seen breakneck consolidation.

First, the merger of Poster Publicity and Portland Outdoor creates WPP's buying operation Kinetic and then the Aegis rival Posterscope snaps up Alban, the owner of Concord.

Kinetic and Posterscope's battle for market share was renewed this week with news that PHD's outdoor buying is to switch from the Kinetic/PHD joint venture, Outdoor Connection, to Posterscope (page 1). This win is vital for Posterscope, which is set to lose MediaCom's outdoor billings in the other direction, following WPP's acquisition of MediaCom.

But will all this activity benefit advertisers? Probably. The specialists argue that scale helps them deliver better value and, with many multinationals running standalone outdoor pitches, there is pressure on specialists to demonstrate this scale.

The keen rivalry between WPP and Aegis in this sector should ensure competition remains fierce.