Investor takes top role at troubled Deal Group Media

Technology investor John Porter has been named executive chairman of troubled online advertising group Deal Group Media (DGM). The news coincides with the company’s admission that full-year profits are unlikely to be more than &£800,000, compared with last year’s &£1.3m.

Founder and chief executive Adrian Moss stays in his post, but Porter will take a “hands-on role”, a spokesman confirms. He adds: “Porter will be very closely involved in the business working with Adrian. They have had a relationship for some time. There will be a slight refocusing of roles in the management team.” Porter will also handle relationships with the City and investors.

DGM says profits will be hit by &£100,000, owing to delays with the roll-out of its new proprietary ad-tracking software, Ad Pro; and by &£225,000 because two major customers are unable to implement technology changes on their websites, which means major pre-Christmas campaigns have had to be cancelled.

This is DGM’s second profits warning in two months. In September, it said pre-tax profits would be the same as last year, mainly because a major client changed the way it accounts for sales introduced through DGM’s affiliate network. DGM admitted that “this particular client accounted for some 30 per cent of high-margin gross profit.”

Porter’s investment vehicle, I-spire, has a 22.41 per cent stake in the group. He is the son of former Westminster Council leader Dame Shirley Porter, and featured in the news recently because of his involvement in a bitter boardroom battle over control of Redbus Interhouse with Demon Internet founder Cliff Stanford.

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