Jean-Claude Decaux, 1938-2016

May 27th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We were saddened to hear Friday afternoon of the death of Jean-Claude Decaux, 78, the founder of the innovative advertising supported street furniture and the giant billboard business across the world that bears his name.

Jean-Claude DecauxConsidered a pioneer and visionary in out-of-home and digital out-of-home, his company is also a world leader in bus shelters and airport advertising units.

Self-taught, he founded JCDecaux in Lyon, France, in 1964, starting with the traditional 4×3 display and growing the business to what is now the largest outdoor advertising company in the world.

He took the company public in 2001, eventually handing the reins to two of his three sons the following year; Jean-Francois and Jean-Charles.

He remained honorary chairman of the company after stepping down as chairman in 2013. In January, 2015, Forbes listed his net worth at $6.2 billion.

We offer our sincere condolences to the family and his company’s employees. We know that he will be sorely missed.

JMC Capital Group Buys Vertigo Digital Displays

May 27th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We learnt Friday afternoon some of the details of Boston-based JMC Capital Partners’ purchase of Vertigo Digital Displays, Toronto, which we announced last Wednesday – a formal press announcement on the buy will be made next Tuesday so as usual we are first with the news that matters, Ed.

JMC_Logo_eb-304x112The purchase is believed to make Civiq Smartscapes, owned by JMC Capital, one of the world’s largest developers and manufacturers of digital out-of-home structures and smart city kiosks.

Civiq Smartscapes now gets Vertigo’s engineering, designers, program managers, intellectual property, test labs and a good sized manufacturing space that was underutilized since Vertigo moved into its new quarters about 18 months ago.

Civiq Smartscapes is expected to move some of its development and manufacturing needs to Toronto immediately. The low value of the Canadian dollar would make manufacturing in Canada interesting for Civiq Smartscapes which, along with providing the 10,000 units for LinkNYC, has allegedly been getting the attention of others interested in Smart Cities.

We understand that the Vertigo brand name will remain, with products noted as Vertigo by Civiq Smartscapes.

JMC Capital has acquired 100% of Vertigo that had been held by majority shareholder Amadeo Tarzia and a minority shareholder. No dollar figures were mentioned.

Our readers might remember that Civiq Smartscapes also bought Elevate Digital, developer of street-level, interactive software technology for smart cities, back in February of this year.

Civiq Smartscapes is headed by Erwin Razelman, president, who joined the company in March. Ralph Idems, former COO, and Chris Bolton, former CTO, co-founders of Vertigo, remain with the company, Idems heading DOOH business development and reporting to Brad Gleeson, chief commercial officer at Civiq Smartscapes and Bolton heading the product design group, reporting to Razelman. Bruno Pupo, Vertigo’s former vice-president sales, will work with Idems on the local business development team. Their actual new titles have not been announced.

Vertigo has a staff of about 24.

IFP Warranty Announcement from @BenQ_IFP

May 27th, 2016

Andrew Neale

BenQ has announced changes to its support and the sale of interactive flat panels (IFP) following Steljes Ltd, its sole distributor, going in to administration on May 23, 2016.

The onsite warranties and technical support on units sold to reseller partners before May 20, 2016 were sold and managed by Steljes Ltd. BenQ is unable to comment on the status of these warranties, however it can confirm that the default warranty supplied by BenQ UK Ltd to Steljes Ltd was a return to base warranty (RTB) and is now legally the remaining warranty. However with BenQ’s commitment to the UK education channel, the decision has been made to takeover and honour these onsite warranties sold by Steljes Ltd* before administration.

For product imported into the UK by BenQ after the May 20, 2016, BenQ will supply the warranty support directly, using its existing customer service centre and its UK onsite service partner for continued quality service.

Royce Lye, UK General Manager told us “The decision to do the right thing and support the schools who have committed to the BenQ brand was something that we, as a company, felt strongly about. This unfortunate situation highlights that when choosing a manufacturer and reviewing its warranties, it’s imperative that you pick a brand that will continuously support you both today and tomorrow.”

As Steljes Ltd was the exclusive partner for BenQ’s interactive flat panels, there will be further announcements regarding the supply channel. Royce Lye told us “We enjoyed a successful 10 year partnership with Steljes Ltd with strong IFP sales. The news of its administration came as a surprise, but we will endeavour to work closely with our loyal reseller partners and support them as much as possible.”

Reseller partners can contact their BenQ account manager directly or the BenQ UK offices for updates and sales support.

*Only including BenQ IFP sold to resellers before the May 20, 2016 and the warranty will need to be validated online before September 30 2016 here.

Gregg Lindner Appointed GfK MRI Managing Director

May 27th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Gregg Lindner, a market research industry veteran with strong experience in leading large syndicated media research organizations while focusing on innovation and quality metrics, has become the new managing director of GfK MRI, effective immediately.

Lindner joined GfK last year after over 25 years with Arbitron (later acquired by Nielsen Holdings). At Scarborough Research – a joint venture of Arbitron and The Nielsen Company – he managed the day-to-day operations of the business, including sales, product development, research and operations. He then served as executive vice-president, service innovation, and chief research officer at Arbitron.

“In a world where media and technology are constantly evolving, we are thrilled to have such a seasoned and disciplined leader ready to guide GfK MRI,” says Gary Cofer, chief commercial officer of GfK in North America. “Gregg understands the key elements of GfK MRI’s success and the trust it has built with clients; but he also has the foresight and wisdom to see where the business needs to go next and how to get there.”

After Arbitron was acquired, Lindner worked with the Media Rating Council before joining GfK.

Toronto Arts Foundation Awards Finalists Showcased by @CieslokMedia

May 27th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Cieslok Media, Canada’s leader in large-format outdoor advertising and digital media partner to the Toronto Arts Foundation, recently launched a campaign showcasing the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards finalists.

Young people's theatre

The Awards are presented to artists, cultural leaders and businesses in recognition of artistic excellence, cultural leadership and contribution to the arts. Award finalists received media recognition for their work on Cieslok Media’s premium digital signage network across the City of Toronto. Every day, building up to the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards ceremony held yesterday, May 26, 2016, Cieslok Media showcased a nominee on digital boards across the city.

“Toronto is a city of art enthusiasts; we are no different,” says Jorg Cieslok, CEO and president of Cieslok Media. “We appreciate the positive impact of art, especially the creativity found amongst the Toronto Art Foundation artists. Through Cieslok Cares, we leverage our premium digital screens across Toronto, aiming to amplify the local talent and extend the positive impact of art across the community.”

Cieslok Cares is the corporate social responsibility program of Cieslok Media. Through its Digital Out-of-Home network located across Canada, Cieslok Media is able to showcase organizations, charities, emergency alerts, and initiatives such as the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards, reaching the masses and creating awareness for the awards and artisit.

“These artists truly deserve this spotlight on their achievements,” says Claire Hopkinson, director and CEO, Toronto Arts Foundation. “We are delighted that our digital media partner Cieslok Media is giving them the visibility they deserve.”

One of the major landmark locations showcasing the finalists was the popular destination spot, Yonge-Dundas Square, which garners over 140,000 impressions daily

Amscreen’s New Media Partner is @ClearChannelUK

May 27th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

Following the unfortunate demise of Digicom, it seems that Amscreen have reacted incredibly quickly in getting someone else in to sell their media and today announced that Clear Channel UK will now be acting as the newly appointed sales partner across all existing networks and contracts.

The new deal, which comes into immediate effect, will see Clear Channel UK operating screens across a range of estates including Tesco, BP, Shell and Esso as well as other leading independents.

The partnership will give Clear Channel exclusive rights to deliver advertising via the 2700 strong national digital screen network situated within the UK’s forecourt convenience destinations.

Simon Sugar, Amscreen CEO told us early this morning “We’re delighted to be partnering with one of the world’s largest outdoor media owners – this deal means they can continue to leverage our proven technologies as well as offering advertisers and agencies the ability to reach a national audience in these high traffic locations”

“We’ve been working with Clear Channel very closely over the last two years which has enabled us to turn around this deal so quickly. The speed at which we’ve set this up is also helping to ensure minimal disruption for advertisers, while going forward, it provides the confidence and expertise that comes with an established market leading outdoor media business.”

In mid-2015, Amscreen completed the upgrade of the entire screen estate with larger format, HD units fitted with the latest OptimEyes face detection software and remote device monitoring and measurement technology. Clear Channel will use these capabilities to carry out technology trials.

Justin Cochrane, Clear Channel CEO said “Our partnership with Amscreen is great news for advertisers – ensuring that the network will again be available and that the highest levels of service are delivered. We are looking forward to the prospect of using our media sales expertise to help grow the business, while the network’s unique technical capabilities offers Clear Channel the opportunity to trial exciting creative and technical solutions with our clients.”

Clear Channel will employ a small dedicated sales team, who will focus exclusively on the network, providing the service level expected by advertisers. The new team will be supported by the wider Clear Channel business as required.

Expanding New York’s On The Go Travel Station Kiosk Network

May 27th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

On The Go Travel Station Kiosks are showing up in stations all over the New York subway system these days.

The colorful displays put service information at the customers’ fingertips but the program is also serving to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of a public-private partnership.

MTA New York City Transit Infrastructure crew installs a new On The Go (OTG) kiosk on the northbound platform at Chambers St on the 7th Av line .

MTA New York City Transit Infrastructure crew installs a new On The Go (OTG) kiosk on the northbound platform at Chambers St on the 7th Av line .

MTA New York City Transit has begun the next phase of its popular and award winning On The Go Travel Station kiosk program, expanding the digital screen network’s footprint across the subway system.

This is a continuation of a successful public-private partnership with OUTFRONT Media Inc. and Intersection. The collaboration has seen the installation of 169 units at 31 stations with an average weekday ridership of 1.55 million customers.

The primary goal of this phase – to add an additional 180 interactive digital screen kiosks – is the technology’s introduction to more riders in parts of the system that have not been exposed to the digital information and wayfinding system. A secondary but equally important goal for NYC Transit’s private partners is to site the units in stations that will continue to attract quality brands to advertise on the platform.

Read the rest of this entry »

London Digital Signage Week VIP Reception

May 27th, 2016

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

To celebrate London Digital Signage Week, now in its fourth year, the Ministry of New Media, in association with the DailyDOOH, held an exclusive VIP reception on the evening of Tuesday May 17, 2016.

LDSW VIP Reception 2

Conveniently located in the David Lean Room at the BAFTA, the VIP Reception was a separate event to The DailyDOOH Media Summit and took place just after the last stragglers from the Peter J Solomon Cocktails had staggered out of the bar. The VIP Reception was sponsored by Samsung UK’s Business Division and the Copenhagen-based software vendor VisioSign, a specialist in corporate communications currently establishing a really strong base in the UK.

LDSW VIP Reception 1

The evening had more of a Retail/Corporate Communications focus in contrast to the day’s event (The DailyDOOH Media Summit) which concentrated on OOH and DOOH. Among the 80 or so present were several VIP guests invited by both sponsors, including some distinguished visitors from Korea.

Guests were welcomed with a glass of Taittinger Champagne on arrival and the soft sounds and night club atmosphere made the room unrecognisable from the barrage of multi-media presentations that had filled the space earlier in the day.

Overall the evening was judged a resounding success by all and will certainly be repeated next year to celebrate London Digital Signage Week – which in 2017 of course will be celebrating its fifth year!

Barco Inaugurates its Brand-New ‘One Campus’

May 27th, 2016

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

From June 1 onwards, all 1,250 Belgian Barco employees will be working at a new purpose built campus in Kortrijk.

Today saw the ribbon cutting with the arrival of Belgian royalty.

King of Belgium Opens Barco One Campus

Located at the Beneluxpark in Kortrijk, the 230,000 m2 ‘One Campus’ is an all-glass, circular building surrounded by green spaces and connected to three other state-of-the-art Barco facilities.

The campus will not only be the new home to Barco’s 1,250 Belgian employees but will also serve as an open house for customers, partners, foreign colleagues and other stakeholders.

One Campus is designed to mark also a new way of working, centered around dialogue, collaboration and, consequently, innovation. Barco is convinced that its new operating base will be of great support in the future evolution of the company.

One Campus = One Barco

The new One Campus, which replaces Barco’s older premises in Kuurne and Kortrijk, includes 48,000m2 of general facilities, surrounded by a pond and grass. Standing proudly, at the heart of the campus, is The Circle, which is connected to the Lab (the R&D and test-unit), the Pulse and The Engine (the production facility), by a footbridge, to stress the campus feeling. The Circle comprises airy, flexible office areas, R&D offices and test areas, a multipurpose auditorium (170 seats), a training center, a three-tier meeting deck and an atrium that features a first-class company restaurant. The showpiece of The Circle, however, is the Barco Experience Center, which is equipped with Barco’s most advanced visualization solutions. Here, customers, business partners and other visitors will discover the connected world of Barco.

Encouraging dialogue and collaboration

One Campus is, more than just a new building, a completely new way of working. Barco strongly believes that people perform to their best and feel inspired when they can easily get together and have the flexibility to work where and how they want. So it set up an open-plan building with various working ‘scenes’, like social hubs, home and interaction zones, ‘bubbles’, etc. By combining this smart, flexible workplace with some great campus facilities like a good restaurant and coffee bar, delivery of online shopping orders, green areas, etc., Barco hopes to retain and attract the talents that can help it move forward for a successful future.

Reflecting company values

CEO Eric Van Zele said “Barco has worked hard, over the past few years, to evolve into a global technology leader. Our seven corporate values serve as a guide to help us achieve our objectives. One Campus breathes each and every one of these core values: teamwork, openness, trust, innovation, etc. I’m really delighted about this exciting, new home for the Barco family and will be so proud to welcome all of our colleagues from abroad, customers, business partners and other stakeholders here,”

Royal visit + Ring the Bell

Barco celebrates the official inauguration of its One Campus today, May 27, 2016 in the presence of King Philippe of Belgium. After the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, King Philippe visited the Barco Experience Center and had a round-table discussion with a delegation of Flemish industry representatives.

We note also that a delegation of Barco employees opened the Euronext market with the opening bell-ceremony this morning at 09:00h at the new campus.

Blake Bearden joins @Formetco

May 27th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

Formetco Sports has announced the addition of Blake Bearden as Sports and Video Systems Sales Manager.

Bearden will be responsible for leading sales efforts and accelerating Formetco Sports’ and LED Video Screen growth nationwide.

Todd Heller, Vice President Digital Products told us “Blake’s passion for sports, together with his extensive industry experience and proven track record of building customer relationships, make him a perfect fit for Formetco Sports. We are happy to welcome him to our team,”

Bearden brings nearly 20 years of digital sales experience to Formetco Sports, working with product manufacturers as well as professional, collegiate and high school athletic organizations. He has held Regional and National Sales Manager positions for several major electronics corporations, where he developed and implemented digital projects for major league sports facilities, minor league baseball stadiums and collegiate sports venues.

About Formetco Sports

Atlanta-based Formetco Sports specializes in large LED video screens for entertainment and multi-sports scoring applications. A division of Formetco, Inc., the world’s largest full-service outdoor advertising supplier, Formetco Sports builds a custom LED video screen from the design concept to construction and installation. All video screens are designed for reliability and efficiency and ongoing support is provided.