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Third Deal in 3 Weeks to Create ‘OOH Giant’

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Founder of JCDecaux
Jean-Claude Decaux, late Founder of JCDecaux, in Lyon (France), where everything began.

Why is the Man in the Photo Above, Smiling?

You’ll have to read to the end to know.

Global Goes Scale

Global, Europe’s largest radio group, just bought another Euro Outdoor Advertising company, this time, Exterion Media.  It is the third OOH company Global has purchased in as many weeks.  Primesight and Outdoor Plus were the first two on 20 September.  The addition of Exterion Media will give Global, now with a division named, Global Outdoor, nearly 35% of OOH share in the UK.  Exterion Media’s operations in Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Spain will expand Global’s reach in Europe. The buy places Global’s footprint in the famous London Tube.  JCDecaux is right up there with a similarly estimated 35% share, Clear Channel, about 18%, and Ocean Outdoor, under 10%.  Some have suggested Global may give Decaux a run for their money.  It may give Global scale but not expertise. OOH is not that easy.

It may give Global scale but not expertise. OOH is not that easy.

While Global owns 50% share of London radio commercial audience, the automatic ‘winner, winner chicken dinner’ exclamations crowning them as a significant player in OOH, is not a sure thing.  Owning large OOH and radio inventory does not typically translate to success.  Can synergies and credible solutions on air, online and outdoor succeed?

While Global owns 50% share of London radio commercial audience, the automatic ‘winner, winner chicken dinner’ exclamations is not a sure thing.

Name a successful radio station/OOH combination ownership group?

Sorry, not iHeartRadio/Clear Channel.  The sooner CCO rids itself of iHeart radio the better.

Remember Morris Communications? They had ownership of radio/OOH combination purchasing Naegele Outdoor Advertising, and turning it into Fairway.  Nope.  Morris left radio in May 2015.  And the OOH?  Adams has taken over the management of Fairway.  Not a shining endorsement for the radio/OOH combination.  Still not convinced?

Try Gannett, the former owner of Outfront inventory.  The founders of USA Today, plus at one time 135 daily’s and owners of radio and tv stations.  In my day, it was Gannett who tried the combo sell.  Separately, the divisions did well— together, abysmal failure. I was there, working for Gannett Outdoor in Kansas City. We were the ‘first corporate trial’ partnering with our ‘sister local radio station.’  Save you the details.  It looked good in planning and on paper, but failed miserably.

Is there a solution? Sure.  Does Global have it?  We’ll see.  It has yet to happen on a global or large corporate scale with millions of dollars at stake.  Does any one have a legitimate example?  I mean come on, radio by all accounts, is going the way of newspapers. (full disclosure I own Gannett stock). Somewhere there may be an exception, likely small potatoes.

It reminds me: There is this youngster I have my eye on for potential MLB superstar status. He is hitting it out of the park with crazy skills in the local Fraternal Order of Police Little League, in Niles, Michigan.  He is a giant among 9 through 12 year olds.  A long way from the big league and real world.

Smiling and ready to go!

Is Global Outdoor a serious rival to JC Decaux?

Decaux is a hugely talented and successful veteran player.  I would love to be in the room when the founder’s sons, JEAN-CHARLES DECAUX, Chairman of the Executive Board/Co-Chief Executive Officer and JEAN-FRANÇOIS DECAUX, Co-Chief Executive Officer discuss the ‘Global’ threat to their 63-year-old company. 

Would the late founder of JCDecaux, Jean-Claude Decaux, be chuckling reading about the potential threat of Global?  I don’t know. I am far removed from any personal knowledge.  I would like to believe his response would be the same as the photo of him above on the motor scooter: Smiling and ready to go!

Growth and acquisitions are great.  Outdoor is not as easy as everyone, particularly, many private equity investors, believe.  Let’s slow the roll on the success and game changing accolades for Global just a wee bit, at least until a little proof comes out of the proverbial pudding.

Let’s slow the roll on the success and game changing accolades for Global just a wee bit, at least until a little proof comes out of the proverbial pudding.

Read the story and all the hoopla from Campaign here⇒ Global to buy Exterion Media

 

 

 

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4 Comments
  1. robert says

    Just wanted you to know I find your articles informative and entertaining! Keep up the good work!!

    Bob

  2. Bill Board says

    Thank you Mr Cilia for the kind words. We love OOH. JCDecaux’s worldwide leadership is exemplary, representing the best in the Industry.

  3. Ginny Deitchler says

    Great article and insights! I placed a campaign in London last month and worked with Exterion Media but wasn’t aware of the acquisition. Thanks for all you do for keeping us on top of the OOH happenings.

  4. Bill Board says

    Ms. Deitchler, Happy we are helpful. While Exterion has changed ownership, too early to say how much change at management levels. We’ll keep at it.
    Thank you for the comment and reading. And congrats on placing business in London!!