…as poster companies bid to lure spirits away from TV

The outdoor industry is attempting to woo spirits advertisers away from pre-Christmas TV ad blitzes by offering lower rates and incentives.

The move follows last week’s revelations that sales of Teacher’s Scotch Whisky fell by over a quarter in the second half of last year (see story above).

Brown spirits in particular shifted spend from outdoor, although white spirits, such as Smirnoff and Bacardi, and Highland Distilleries’ Famous Grouse whisky, continued to use the medium extensively.

For the past two years, the industry has had a poor fourth quarter. One source says: “Contractors have tended to overprice. Now there is greater urgency in attracting the spirits advertisers back because of the impending ban on tobacco advertising if Labour wins the election.”

Contractors are considering giving the advertisers incentives, such as a bigger proportion of illuminated sites and subsidised research.

David Pugh, commercial director at Mills & Allen, says the company’s salesforce has embarked on a presentation to the drinks companies. “We are making tailor-made offers. They include certain incentives but are not price-based.”

Francis Goodwin, joint managing director at Maiden Outdoor, says: “We are looking at the relative strengths of the different brands and their media strategies.” He says there has been a problem of perception that fourth-quarter rates are too high, but claims they have come down.

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