Ashingo wins digital screens contract at shopping centres

A start-up screen media company has beaten established players including Avanti and Screen FX to the contract for the first digital screens at Bluewater and four other major UK shopping centres.

The five-year contract was won by Ashingo Media, a start-up run by Chris Thomson, former CEO of Austin Reed, and ITV2's launch commercial director Paul Masterson.

The contract was signed last week after a tender process involving three other companies - Avanti Screenmedia, POPtv and Screen FX.

According to Chris Meredith, commercialisation and corporate partnership manager for property developer Lend Lease, who awarded the contract, Ashingo was appointed because of "its strong content offering and willingness to work with our designs". He said: "This is an extension of the Bluewater brand and so it was important to have the right balance between content and advertising."

Chris Thomson, CEO of Ashingo Media, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed by Lend Lease as digital screen media partners for their UK estate and Ashingo plans to launch the media this autumn."

As well as Bluewater, the UK's most prestigious mall, the deal also includes four other shopping centres managed by Lend Lease - Touchwood in Solihull, Overgate in Dundee, The Meadows in Chelmsford and Golden Square in Warrington.

Setting up the network will involve a seven-figure capital expenditure. The digital screens, which are expected to be in place by early October, will show a 50/50 split of advertising and editorial content. Editorial will include local and national news, travel, weather, shopping centre news and fashion news.

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