More Group abandons poster penalty plans

Poster contractor More Group UK has been forced to backtrack on plans to impose stricter penalties on advertisers which cancel campaigns, after an outcry from other members of the industry.

The company wanted to introduce a new ten per cent penalty on advertisers which cancelled bookings at any time up to three months in advance. There are already cancellation fees for companies which pull out with less than three months’ notice.

But other contractors and specialists objected, saying such a move would damage the industry as a whole.

One specialist says: “It could potentially damage the medium if clients felt they could not book something for fear of it costing them money.”

There was also anger at the lack of consultation before the change in conditions. Outdoor Advertising Association members are meant to follow a consistent set of terms and conditions of trading.

Peter Smyth, managing director of the More Group UK, says the company has been hit by cancel-lations, often of premium packa ges, just before the three-month deadline.

“People are booking space with no intention of following through just to be sure they have access to plant. But we do run the risk of being seen to penalise advertisers which play fair, and have put this on the back burner,” he says.

Touch TV screens giving travellers and tourists information on theatres, hotels and restaurants, and selling onscreen advertising and sponsorship are to be tested in London bus shelters for the first time. The More Group has bought a ten per cent stake in Cityspace, the UK multimedia company, and plans to install the screens in a selection of London’s busiest sites over the next six months.

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