Benjamin Billups: A Conversation II
Acquisitions and Posterscope
Part 2 of a 3 Part Conversation with one of the visionaries in Outdoor Advertising Media planning and placement specialists, Ben Billups, Founder/CEO of Billups.
BBoard: You were telling us about your father who worked at UPS. You would look good in Brown. Why Outdoor Advertising?
BBillups: Why Outdoor? Great question, Bill. I love the freedom of expression with OOH. There’s so much about OOH that energizes me. It’s the bright colors on a dark day. It’s the sheer unlimited creative opportunity. It’s the public nature of it that makes it part of our cultural fabric. At the same time, I love the business. I love the dance of supply and demand, the commercial real-estate wild-westness, and the incredible technological challenges (and opportunities). The elements within and surrounding OOH are just too juicy for me to pass up.
BBoard: Ben, speaking of elements too juicy to pass up, you have acquired some top small indie OOH agencies: SOS, Generation Outdoor, Heed Media in Minneapolis. What did these three shops have in common to make them attractive to Billups?
BBillups: It comes down to alignment. Alignment of the people. The DNA. The heartbeat. Everything qualitative and, obviously, some quantitative. In all three acquisitions, it was the opportunity to bring together like-minded individuals and their respective teams. Jason Kiefer, Matt Leible and Tony Stoering are all representative of our six core values in their own unique way. They’re authentic, collaborative, empowered, inspired, innovative and relentless. I value and respect all of these individuals immensely and am grateful that they agreed to stay and make a difference.
BBoard: Speaking of people and DNA, some refer to Billups as Posterscope II, because you have many former Posterscope employees. We are not suggesting that is a bad thing, but it is a thing.
BBillups: Posterscope II. Ha! I’ve actually never heard that. Actually, I really respect Posterscope and especially Michael Palatnek. He is the consummate gentleman and a good friend. Not sure he wants Billups to be referred to as Posterscope II, but I get the historical comparison (laughs). Perhaps your comment may be in reference to our hiring of industry stalwarts like Scott Blair, Brent Baer, Heather Armstrong and a few others that were part of our ascent in the early 2010s. Posterscope, at the time, had really rolled out an indie initiative and I saw an opportunity to align with some great people while securing a promising business opportunity for all involved. Honestly, that’s my best guess, Bill. The gossip in this industry that eventually finds its way back to me in Portland makes me chuckle. Again, I’ve never heard that.
Benjamin Billups: A Conversation III, concludes tomorrow on Elite Talent, Boohma OOH Software and the Future.