Sales facilities must centralise

Out of Home has certainly, as John Shannon suggested in his article (MW September 21), been the beneficiary of the dot-com boom but it would be misleading to suggest that the 62 per cent year-on-year spend increase which he quotes has been down to dot-com company expenditure alone. There have been other factors too.

The ongoing process of new product development, more backlit units, unipole locations, commuter-sensitive packages and so forth by a number of the key media owners has been of benefit for most of the parties involved. Advertisers have been provided with a better quality platform on which to put their message, and the contractors have improved their yield. Also, our research has shown that generally the new products are a good buy.

Centralisation of a creative message has been achieved, but the centralised media deal still remains elusive on the whole as media owners look to protect their yields on a market-by-market basis and equity issues prevent any one office of the contractors leading the discussion.

Decaux has launched One-Stop-Shop as its response to providing a centralised initiative, but, as yet, it is unclear if this will have genuine centralised authority or be solely an information gathering service – not that this is without merit. The More group of companies has not yet decided upon any centralisation, other than a marketing-driven role based in London.

As a global buyer of OOH, we are keen to progress the centralised investment as we feel it is important for our clients to be considered as preferred partners of media owners, rather than just users of the medium. The development of this sales facility must happen in due course.

Michael Segrue

Managing director

Out of Home

London SW1

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