Team of the Week: Mega Profile

Lemonia, 89 Regent's Park Road, NW1 020 7586 7454

By Day

When Mega Profile was launched in October 1999, it not only faced the usual start-up's job of bigging itself up to the media community, but also had to promote the very market it was to operate in.

"Giant posters had been used in the UK, but only sporadically - it was a nil-growth market. Media people loved the idea, but there was no one supplying them professionally," says commercial director Harry Torrance.

Intent to turn huge sites into something more than dramatic one-offs by bringing a sense of professionalism and responsibility to the market, the company included both media workers and property experts.

Two years down the line, the launch team of four has expanded to 15 people and the six-strong sales team sells across some 25 sites, which are found throughout the UK and are, typically, at least 150 square metres in size.

Its revenues have also boomed, growing in 2000 by 160% year on year, while the growth this year has been nearer the 35% mark.

Mega Profile has even set a record with the billboard it laid on for Ford on the side of the Fort Dunlop building on the M6 outside Birmingham - the site measures almost an acre in area and has pride of place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest billboard.

Given the dramatic nature of the billboards, they are often used for launches - as with the the campaign for MG's new sports car, which is also said to be the largest giant poster campaign ever.

The company deals with all the poster specialists, such as Posterscope, Outdoor Connection, Portland and Concord. It also recently appointed the former CNN account director Brett Marshall as head of sales with a view to taking its pitches directly to media agencies and advertisers.

Four members of the sales team, which was also bolstered during the summer by the arrival of account manager Alistair Farrington from MindShare, are structured according to clients. The other two members of the six-strong team have campaign management roles, which involve carrying out tasks such as organizing insurance and liaising with creative agencies. Needless to say, life can get complicated with giant posters - to check the Sam Taylor-Wood wrap-around that covered
Selfridges during its refurbishment, they had to lay it out in a hangar in Bedford.

"To make running giant poster campaigns look simple to the outside, a lot of coordination is needed," says Torrance.

By Night

It's tempting to think the giant poster gang large it when they're not in the office, but Torrance says they're too busy  pitching to regularly hit the pub together. However, they made up for that last January with a trip to Paris, and there could be another foreign jaunt on the cards early next year.

Being based on Charlotte Street, there are a fair few watering holes and clubs nearby for Mega Profile to chose from, notably Spearmint Rhino and The Marquis of Granby.

Key people

Simon Evans, managing director; Gary Newton, operations director; Harry Torrance, commercial director; Brett Marshall, head of sales; Alistair Farrington, Paul Lebidneuse, account managers; Jane Cottage, campaign manager.

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