Magazine article Marketing

Outside Influence Set to Drive More

Magazine article Marketing

Outside Influence Set to Drive More

Article excerpt

The More Group has appointed Stevie Spring to help turn around advertiser perception of the outdoor industry.

More Group's decision to appoint Stevie Spring as its new chief executive has taken the male-oriented outdoor industry by surprise. Not only is she female, Spring, currently managing partner at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, is not an outdoor specialist.

Spring, known as the 'Ruby Wax of advertising', does not come from a traditional media background. While her career has included two years in agency sales at TV-am, she is a corporate lawyer by profession, and her career has been largely spent in creative agencies such as Grey, Gold Greenlees Trott and Rainey Kelly/Y&R.

Coline McConville, chief operating officer of More Group's parent company, Clear Channel International, believes it is a critical time to bring in some-one with an outside perspective.

"The UK market is pretty mature, accounting for 6% of adshare, so we have to be on the creative edge if we want to take it to 7%," she says.

The consensus is that the appointment is a coup, not only for More Group, but for the outdoor industry as a whole.

"It demonstrates the potential for growth in the outdoor medium, which has increased in sophistication and credibility recently," says lain McLellan, director of the Outdoor Advertisers' Association.

There is agreement, too, that Spring will be good for More, which has been seeking for a candidate since October, when managing director Peter Smyth, moved to the role of regional director of Northern Europe.

Market Ieader

"They needed to bring some pizzazz to the role and bring in someone with a high-profile," says one source.

Spring admits More needs to "make a bit more noise", but denies it is a company which needs fixing. "More has been quietly leading the market and it's time to take credit for the innovations we've introduced," she says.

She joins at a time of intense consolidation in the industry. Last year, Decaux bought Mills & Allen and Sky Sites, Scottish Media Group bought Primesight and Baillie, Scottish Radio Holdings acquired Trainer Advertising, Parkin and Vision, while acquisitions by More included billboard contractor Postermobile.

As a result of these deals, five key media owners have emerged -- More Group, Decaux, TDI, Maiden and Scottish Media Group-which represent nearly 100% of the major formats between them.

According to Outdoor Connection/Blade Tracker, More has 56% of the six-sheet market, 30% of the 96-sheet market and 16% of the 48-sheet market. …

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