Outdoor clients need specialists

It is encouraging to see John Shannon focus on outdoor advertising (MW February 10). But, while I appreciate the limited amount of space he has, there are some factual omissions and points that need clarifying.

The Clear Channel initiative to conduct advertiser research into the medium will prove worthwhile. However, the reality of an agency or client planning and buying a multinational campaign directly with a media owner – which Shannon describes as “relatively simple” – is not correct. It is imperative to have access to a specialist planning and buying agency.

Contractors will always try to sell you what they want and, unless you can use the sophisticated planning and buying tools most specialists employ as a matter of course, the campaign will be poor. Centralised co-ordination is time consuming and is not an exercise which many agencies (and clients) wish to undertake.

Where centralised deals have been attempted, some agencies have tried to use the media owner as the planner. This results in poorly-distributed, over-priced campaigns, without the level of back-up and management global clients expect.

Contractors are also not promoting the centralised deals as strongly, as Shannon intimates. It is up to specialists to ensure this happens more regularly. We have been quite successful in this area but continue to learn more every time we book a centralised, multinational campaign.

The Gap’s use of the medium is outstanding, but the company is not alone in its use of mega-sites and special sites across Europe, and beyond. As Shannon says, the medium is poised for international status.

Michael Segrue

Managing director

Poster Publicity International

London SW1E

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