Portland Outdoor sets up research and planning outfit

The WPP-owned outdoor specialist Portland Outdoor is collaborating with its sister WPP Group companies with the launch of a research and planning consultancy, called ForeSite.

Portland will work with MindShare, Mediaedge:cia's MediaLab division and The Henley Centre to identify emerging trends and the opportunities that they represent for the outdoor industry. ForeSite will be led by Portland's research and marketing director, Andrew Atherton.

The move brings all of Portland's research and planning tools, such as its PSV individual panel qualitative research system, which were all previously marketed under disparate names, under the ForeSite brand.

As part of the project, ForeSite is conducting a monthly tracking survey into the impact of the retail sector.

It will also run quarterly surveys into areas of the outdoor marketplace, where it has identified the potential for growth. Its first survey, in conjunction with MediaLab, will examine the impact of outdoor media on ethnic communities.

Alex Thompson, the chief executive of Portland, said: "Because of WPP resources such as MediaLab and The Henley Centre, we are in a unique position to deliver fresh insight into the outdoor market. Together, with the historical strength of our research and planning tools, we believe that ForeSite will enable us to raise the bar further when it comes to delivering bespoke, imaginative outdoor campaigns for our clients."