Vision Media plots network of interactive ad-info pods…

Outdoor media contractor Vision Media Group (VMG) is launching an interactive information and advertising pod in shopping centres across the UK

Claimed to be a media first, the product – called the “iconic pod” will provide interactive information as well as advertising content.

The company has also announced a partnership deal with Clear Channel Outdoor to procure advertising across its nationwide network of digital screens in shopping centres. Clear Channel will procure the advertising on the pods as well as on VMG’s wider mall portfolio.

VMG sales and marketing director Tim Ritson says: “This is a major step forward. The partnership is heavily embedded in making the product work,” he adds.

The iconic pod will be launched in June in several shopping centres including Lakeside. Some of the pods will run beside Titan Outdoor’s digital screens, putting Clear Channel in direct competition with Titan.

Clear Channel Outdoor chief executive Barry Sayer says the company’s expansion into interactive and digital is “complemented” by the partnership with VMG.

A panel on the side of the pod allows consumers to view content on the full screen. The screen can also provide a shopping centre map and bring up a list of shops that sell a specific product. Advertising content runs below the information screen. The company is running a digital development programme and is working on in-house technology.

VMG chief executive Dominic Brookman says: “Shopping centres are effectively high streets with a roof over the top and the high footfall within them is a valuable audience for advertisers.”

VMG was formed when Screen FX acquired Screen Media Networks in January this year. Ritson and Brookman both worked at Screen Media Networks before it was bought.

Brookman says the deal will be a “turning point” in the company’s financial performance.

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