New poster giant prepares for launch

The joint venture between Poster Publicity and WPP’s outdoor specialist Portland could be up and running by early summer.

Poster Publicity said it had overcome the regulatory hurdles in most key markets and was preparing for a staged roll-out of the new business.

The new company, which will be owned equally by existing Poster Publicity shareholders and WPP, is yet to be named but the shortlist of names includes OneNetwork, Kinetic and O Factory.

Mike Segrue, managing director for Poster Publicity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the new company would enhance the effectiveness that the out-of-home medium delivers to clients.

“They [clients] want a global perspective when planning their outdoor media campaigns,” Segrue said. “They see the benefits as we do in having a broader and deeper reach.”

It is expected that the merged company will eventually handle the outdoor business for MediaCom, which became part of the WPP network when its parent company Grey Global was sold in a £845m deal last year.

Posterscope, MediaCom’s current outdoor specialist, stands to lose its position as the market leader in the UK if it loses the account.

Poster Publicity said the joint venture would eventually employ over 300 people in 35 countries, including the UK, the US and the Asia Pacific.

The current management team of Poster Publicity and key Portland staff, led by chief executive Eric Newnham will run the new business.

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

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