The first time I met Stevie Spring, she was more than a little excited by a new arrival.
In her office, high above London's media hub of Golden Square, sat several paintings by one Nelson Mandela, painted during his incarceration on Robin Island.
Of course, many chief executives have random works of art on the walls of their office, but it's rare to find watercolours that contain such political resonance.
Then again, if you were to represent Spring's personality with a painting, it would be less likely to be a blurry Monet, and much more likely to be a strong Van Gogh – the woman certainly has a lust for life.
Anyone who saw her performance at Media 360, where she took outdoor to the brink of winning the Battle of the Mediums contest, will testify to that.
Dressed in an oversized FCUK T-shirt to demonstrate the power of posters, she was voted through two rounds of the competition before succumbing to the charismatic magazineman David Hepworth in the grand final.
Her joie de vivre is represented by the venue we meet at.
The Wolsley, Spring tells me, has a "celebrity side" and a "media side". Today we are led to the celebrity side – no sign of imminent Hollywood offers from movie producers, but still we're not giving up hope.
Being the chief executive of Clear Channel outdoor in the UK, Spring is embroiled in the race for both the lucrative London tube advertising contract and a tender to take more of the London bus shelter market proffered by Transport for London, but has also been challenging Maiden Outdoor at point of sale, challenging the UK-owned company in the shopping centre market.
This period of contract tender has caused a mixture of excitement and paranoia in the out-of-home industry, but Clear Channel has more to be excited about than most. Not only did it successfully defend the £10m Centro contract in the West Midlands, but it looks sure to retain at least half of the London bus shelter business, due to contractual obligations. But Spring isn't resting: "If you look at our portfolio, I think you can see that it's easy for us to address an advertiser's out-of-home needs, but of course London Underground would make a fantastic pitch with all that, because you then wrap up the whole of London.
"That, plus 10,000 six-sheets is a very seductive proposition for an advertiser."
Viacom Outdoor is the current incumbent of the London Underground contract, and as TfL is a body appointed by politician Ken Livingstone it is expected to run as efficiently as possible, which is why it has put the tube and bus shelters up for tender.
Chris Townsend, group marketing director at TfL, has already stated that because the body represents the public interests, he will be looking to make as much money as possible for taxpayers from the pitch.
He has also said that the incumbent has done a good job up until now, which begs the question, if Viacom can meet any new criteria, will they keep the business as the incumbent?
Spring says incumbents are in no way guaranteed of picking up business automatically.
"It depends entirely contract by contract. There will be some advantages, but you've got the incumbent disadvantage, which is ‘why the bloody hell didn't you offer that before, if you can do that now, why couldn't you do that yesterday?'.
"If the client loves you to death and it's a statutory repitch, then you have an enormous incumbent advantage. If the client just bloody hated you for the last 12 months, or they used to be a client and you treated them like shit, they've now looked at another client and have the opportunity to fire you, that is incredibly difficult."
Long contracts Spring says that the out-of-home industry is different to most because of the length of contracts involved, normally between 15 and 25 years. "All contracts, in our case, tend to be long contracts, because of the capital involved, in particular with the street furniture, you are talking about long contracts, real partnerships."
Spring thinks these partnerships and partnerships with advertisers will be given a broader canvas, if the outdoor industry focuses on the issue of creativity, within media schedules and pasted across its six sheets, forty eight sheets and ninety six sheets: "We get advertising sites in city centre locations, which allows the advertiser to create city centre advertising, on a bus route, on a structure that's illuminated and clean and graffiti-free, and Joe Public gets something that makes their streetscape look more attractive, so it's win, win, win, a virtuous circle.
"In terms of creativity, we have to do research to see what will get us better locations."
Spring is a strong believer that media takes the blame for a lot of uninspiring creative.
"Truth is that if you put wallpaper up, nobody will see it, it will not work, and invariably what happens is that if a plan doesn't work you blame the media. You end up saying ‘tried posters, it didn't work'. If weaker creative goes up you're not going to get the results you want."
She thinks that the advances in digital will create an out-of-home television. "If you look at out-of-home indoor/outdoor, in-store, instation, in-airport, in fact anywhere where you have a long dwell time and a broad franchise base, you can do exactly the same with a screen as you can with a television.
"The only caveat I'll put on that is some of the in-store television, because if you're rushing around a supermarket, I'm not sure how much dwell time you'd get."
The strict council regulations for the development of outdoor means that it is unlikely that the UK will turn into some claustrophobic cityscape from a Ridley Scott film, however.
"The planning regulations for outdoor in this country means that you would never get full video and you can't run sound, so we'd never get the Japanese model over here. I think we need to be a bit careful of the Blade Runner future."
Spring is also sceptical that, for the time being at least, advertisers will want to spend the kind of money that it would take to create an entirely digital outdoor future. "Where you've got a location, you've only got a certain number of eyeballs. The point is, how much is the client prepared to pay for those eyeballs, and what's the cost of converting those screens and running those screens.
And at the moment, the cost of running those screens is unaffordable. Spring says that the industry could be in danger of over specking locations that clients may not want to pay for, in a rush to introduce technology that the clients may not need quite yet, if they can get good results from a vastly improved medium as it stands today, compared to 10 years ago.
"Why would an advertiser pay for a screen that allows you to run full video, when all they're going to use it for is a static image, but movement can deliver a better message than a static message on the whole," she says.
Spring's parent company Clear Channel may be looking at a possible change in approach over the next few years, because of a shake-up at the main base in the US, with Lowry Mays, founder of the company passing on control to his two sons.
Spring says that she's supportive of the move, but doesn't particularly believe that Lowry is having as little involvement as people might think. "I think Lowry's vision is embodied in both sons, Mark and Randall.
Mark is very supportive and a nice guy. As far as Clear Channel is concerned, country managers are left to manage their own business...
as long as it's going well, but knowing Lowry, and knowing the energy he's got he's still, even when he's not in the office, going to be on the phone anyway."
Timescales and approaching meetings bring the conversation to a natural end and with nothing but coats to collect and the obligatory air kisses to be doled out by both parties, I feel slightly conned that we have been sitting in the "celebrity section" and haven't even seen a Big Brother housemate.
I'm starting to think we've been strung a line by the maître d', until a guy who looks like he spends the majority of his life in the gym wanders past – it's none other than Rupert Everett, an Englishman who spends most of his time on movie sets and is about the only openly gay actor in tinseltown.
Just as I'm starting to think about renewing my gym membership, Spring says: "I don't know about you, but even though he's gay, I definitely would."
You'd expect nothing less from her.
2000 Chief executive Clear Channel UK
1994 Managing director Rainey Kelly Campbell, Roalfe/Y&R
1992 Managing director Woollams Moira Gaskin O'Malley
1988 Deputy managing director Gold Greenlees Trott
1984 Business development director Grey Advertising
1982 Business development Tvam