Between the Lines: Outdoor's mixed messages

The news that Gen, the outdoor specialist, is writing to top advertisers to outline its controversial new remuneration methods (page 1) could send shockwaves through the outdoor sector.

Gen is proposing to clients that it is paid by fees rather than the current system that sees outdoor specialists receive 15 per cent commission on a client's outdoor spend.

The new company, which was launched recently by the former directors of Blade and Van Wagner, has opened a can of worms, because clients are already concerned about commissions and other payments to agencies. Gen's actions serve to highlight the fact media agencies and specialists are being incentivised to push greater levels of spend into outdoor.

Reports are circulating that big clients have contacted ISBA and their own specialists with concerns over the lack of transparency in the outdoor system.

Gen's move could lead to more emphasis on fee-based consultancy in the outdoor industry. If so, outdoor will be forced to fight on a more level playing field for its share of the advertising cake.