People behind it:
Name: Simon Campbell (pictured), Ben Way and Charlie Lass
Martin Banbury is MediaEquals chief executive. An ex-Procter & Gamble marketer, he went on to found Communicator, a through-theline agency that was sold to Cordiant for £15m before joining fledgling travel insurer Insure and Go – he is still one of three partners there. I&G is now the largest online travel insurer in the UK. In 2005, Banbury founded the Mission Marketing Group, which has grown from zero to 650 staff in under three years, with over £100m in turnover. With MediaEquals, he is now trying to change the way the world trades media.
MediaEquals is an online exchange for offline advertising space, which began testing in April. Participants in the test include Aegis, Starcom, Initiative, BBC Magazines and CBS Outdoor. Completely independent, it caters for all parties, from large agency buyers to the “long tail” local advertiser. Based on patented new technology, it offers offline media owners greater efficiency as media fragmentation, competition and pressure on margins increases.
It is difficult to assess what success the system has had so far as it is only in test, but Banbury says he wants it to become the global trading standard for all offline media. The fact that it has apparently been designed to service the needs of both big and small media owners should mean it will have a very large pool of potential users. The company has now announced that its first live trading platform, for outdoor media, should be operational this month..
How it fits
MediaEquals will find itself up against tough competition if Google, which has been experimenting with an online market for offline media in the US, or eBay, which has also been testing selling media space, enter the media trading market in a big way. However, first entrant advantage is a major plus, and MediaEquals does have Banbury’s expertise behind it, and big name media buyers and media owners have already signed up.