MediaCom's Phil Hall joins Ocean as UK co-managing director

Hall leaves Britain's biggest media agency after 18 years.

Hall: will oversee Ocean’s UK commercial operations
Hall: will oversee Ocean’s UK commercial operations

Ocean Outdoor has hired Phil Hall, chief commercial strategy officer at MediaCom, as co-managing director UK in a newly created role.

Hall has been at MediaCom for 18 years and has regularly featured in Campaign's annual top 10 media buyers.

Meanwhile, Steve George has also been promoted to co-managing director UK as part of a wider reorganisation by Ocean, Britain’s fourth-largest out-of-home owner behind JCDecaux, Global and Clear Channel.

Hall will oversee Ocean’s UK commercial operations, while George takes responsibility for the UK franchise and development functions.     

Ocean’s estate includes the Piccadilly Lights, the UK's most celebrated OOH site at Piccadilly Circus in London. 

Hall said: "I’ve had a fantastic time at MediaCom, working alongside some brilliant colleagues to build a world-class business. My roles have been varied and fulfilling, and I’ll miss the work and the people.

"I’ve always considered digital out-of-home to be a medium of huge interest and benefit to clients, with even greater potential, particularly with the rapid advancements in technology."

He said "the chance to play a significant part" in Ocean's "continued growth is an opportunity I can’t resist".

Stephen Joseph, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Ocean, and Richard Malton, chief marketing officer, will take group-wide roles as the company steps up its "international growth ambitions".

Ocean, which listed earlier this year on the London stock market, has expanded recently in the Netherlands.

Tim Bleakley, chief executive of Ocean, said: "It’s been a pivotal few months in which management has overseen both our launch as a public company and three strategic acquisitions. 

"Our entry into the mainland Europe market is testament to the strength of the Ocean brand and the growing international demand for Ocean's unique DOOH formula. 

"However, UK growth remains a key part of our plans and Phil brings a wealth of experience and insight that will help us and the industry evolve at what is an exciting stage for the digital out-of-home medium."

There was no immediate word from MediaCom, Britain’s biggest media agency, on how it might replace Hall.

Group M, the media buying division of WPP and parent company of MediaCom, forecasts growth of more than 3% in UK OOH revenues in both 2019 and 2020 as digital screens command higher yields and drive growth.

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