Media: Double Standards - 'More clients should book outdoor more often'

Outdoor was one of the big success stories of 2004, so how confident are the heads of two outdoor companies that the sector has further growth to look forward to?

DAVID PUGH - managing director, Maiden Outdoor

What do you think the results Media planners and clients should have

of the updated Postar figures increased confidence in outdoor as the

on the industry will be? updated roadside cover and frequency

numbers are released and rail

campaigns are included for the first

time. This will improve further when

retail and other transport campaigns

are added by the end of 2005.

What is your most sought-after Maiden's Transvision network of LED

site? billboards at ten stations. The

locations offer high dwell-time and

the high-specification screens allow

advertisers to run innovative

campaigns that target commuters

precisely. BBC News 24 bulletins

complete the package and let us give

something back to the audience.

What do you think has been the People who don't work in outdoor tend

most innovative outdoor to ask that seeking today's equivalent

campaign this year? of Araldite sticking a car to a

billboard. For me, the most innovative

campaign has been the BBC's long-term

holding, using plain 48- and 96-sheet

billboards on road and rail sites as a

noticeboard to keep the BBC brand at

the top of the agenda and make an

appointment to view for key

programmes. No 3-D images, sounds,

smells or Bluetooth: just a fresh

creative proposition to a big audience

at the best locations every week.

How much do you think the It is fashionable to criticise

overall standard of outdoor declining creative standards, but I

campaigns needs to improve? see a much lower standard in TV,

cinema and press, where there seems to

be a phenomenal number of ads lacking

a proposition. Things go in waves, but

in my view, the number of effectively

designed outdoor campaigns is

increasing. Agencies are designing for

the medium and the number of recycled

press ads is diminishing.

What are the benefits of Outdoor can reach the parts that other

outdoor advertising compared media increasingly struggle to find.

with other media? The medium has built upon its core

strength of broadcast reach by adding

increasingly precise targeting and a

variety of new formats in new

environments that make it difficult to


What are the remaining Outdoor's growth has been based on

barriers to growth for the solid fundamentals: rising rail and

outdoor share of advertising? road audiences, investment in high-

quality poster sites and new

environments and a superior audience

measurement system. All of these

trends will continue over the next

five years.

What is your best format Maiden announced the launch of a

innovation of the year? campaign to promote new record and

film releases earlier this year.

Provisionally called "release", it

will be a back-illuminated panel for

stand-out at the main stations and

will reach the young urbanite


How does your company differ Maiden is the only British company in

from its rivals? the top four and is entirely focused

on the UK. We have developed the

widest portfolio, spanning roadside

billboards, malls supermarkets and


What do you enjoy most about The challenge of taking on

your job? multinational competitors. Maiden is

tiny in comparison to global giants

such as Clear Channel and Viacom, so

we have to be innovative.

STEVIE SPRING - chief executive, Clear Channel UK

What do you think the results More clients being more reassured to

of the updated Postar figures book more outdoor campaigns more

on the industry will be? often. The new figures show outdoor is

delivering larger audiences - the

logical conclusion of people spending

more time outdoors and exposed to

posters. The figures also show modern

travel patterns make conurbation

campaigns even more important.

What is your most sought-after Fort Dunlop, the largest advertising

site? site in Europe, a 3,500 square-metre

canvas for creativity; the Adshel six-

sheet outside Selfridges, a prime

location on England's premier shopping

street; the Adshel Connect phone box

on Bayswater, the only opportunity to

advertise on the road; any taxi on the

Heathrow run (Enough. We only asked

for one - Ed).

What do you think has been the Dove and iPod get my vote for on-the-

most innovative outdoor street impact. But for chutzpah, I'd

campaign this year? vote Finding Nemo - all bubbling water

and bright lights. Water-filled

electric lightboxes? The impossible

takes a little longer - but see below.

How much do you think the There have always been creatives that

overall standard of outdoor use outdoor well ... equally, there

campaigns needs to improve? have always been posters that are

literally a waste of space - giant

press ads on steroids. It's a big part

of our job as media owners to raise

the median to the highest it can be.

When creative is crap and the campaign

bombs, it's our medium that gets the

blame. So the more we can help to get

short, sharp, strongly branded work up

on our sites, the more clients will

keep coming back.

What are the benefits of We offer almost universal cover (give

outdoor advertising compared or take the odd agoraphobic) - the

with other media? only truly broadcast option. We make a

public statement, seen simultaneously

by all stakeholders, past, present,

future, with no political bias or

editorial slant. Ours is not a choose-

to-see medium. We can't be switched

off, turned over or TiVo-tuned out.

We're infinitely flexible, creatively

and geographically. Outdoor delivers.

What are the remaining The biggest barrier is the threat from

barriers to growth for the further regulation. We've lost tobacco

outdoor share of advertising? and potentially face restrictions on

food, drink and God knows what else. I

have always believed that if a product

is free to sell, it should have

freedom to market.

What is your best format Taking over 18,000 (currently) BT

innovation of the year? phone boxes and launching Adshel

Connect's contravision product as a

new opportunity for great value point-

of-sale impact.

How does your company differ Emotionally, we're like Curry Motors -

from its rivals? nice people to do business with, but

driven by an "anything is possible"

ethos. Rationally, we have the

broadest portfolio of formats, ranging

from banners to tip seats.

What do you enjoy most about Well, put it the other way, there's

your job? nothing that I don't enjoy. I think I

have the best job in adland.


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