Amscreen’s BP Store Roll-Out: Digicom Replies

Andrew Neale

An open letter from Tom Goddard, Executive Chairman in response to our post and criticism yesterday ‘Amscreen Begins BP Store Roll-Out

Reprinted below with kind permission in its entirety…

Dear Adrian

I am responding to your article on Digicom’s behalf but I am sure I speak for Amscreen and BP too.

For reasons we are struggling to understand, you seem determined to rubbish our collective three way efforts to generate a digital media marketplace in the forecourt convenience sector – something which appears completely at odds with your “impartial” position as media commentator on the digital sector and heralder of innovation.

Whatever your views, I can assure you that a lot of time and thought has gone into jointly agreeing the media spec, positioning, angle, loop length, ad mix and overall proposition for BP Connect and its customers.

The Amscreen screen is head on to queuing customers, is clearly visible from most parts of the store, and delivers a close proximity, pretty unavoidable, ad contact at eye level to a sizeable and attractive customer base. The venues themselves are attractive to advertisers, being well laid out, stocking typically 1500 household essentials per store, and are capturing an increasing share of grocery purchases. Our forthcoming trials, which we are researching extensively, will hopefully bear out both the ad demand and a positive customer reception. As always, the real arbiter will be the market.

Please return to your previous role as champion and supporter of innovation in its many forms. It becomes you better. Sniping from within is uncharitable, and the last thing this nascent industry needs. If this were Private Eye, we’d all be threatening to “cancel our subscriptions” with immediate effect.


Tom Goddard
Executive Chairman

11 Responses to “Amscreen’s BP Store Roll-Out: Digicom Replies”

  1. Jorge Garcia de Bustos Says:

    “Whatever your views, I can assure you that a lot of time and thought has gone into jointly agreeing the media spec, positioning, angle, loop length, ad mix and overall proposition for BP Connect and its customers.”

    I’ll choose to believe that a lot of time and thought has been dedicated, and effectively wasted after looking at the video at

    Tiny fonts (what are those? 12 point?) in a screen above eye level. Anyone over 45 years of age will end up putting on their reading glasses, squinting and coming within 20cm just to read that.

  2. Phil Says:

    Good idea, poor content and very poor display! What’s with the tacky LED from the 1980’s? This solution will not help the industry in anyway.

  3. Chris Commons Says:

    Despite many hours of free advertising on the BBC, this BP system surely has to be the most disappointing development in an otherwise great year for Digital Signage.

    It looks like something out of the 1990s and is nowhere near the conceptual or presentational quality of a modern signage system. In life, you get what you pay for, so it’s fair to assume that BP weren’t prepared to invest much in this particular project! We can only hope that it goes the way of virtually ever other cheap and nasty product Amstrad has inflicted upon us across the years, and disappears ignominiously. It’s a shame to see a company with Digicom’s reputation associating itself with such a substandard offering.

  4. Mark Solomon Says:

    I guess it depends what you’re trying to achieve and every solution has its pros and cons.

    There are solutions which are probably appropriate for fast-moving environments with low-value products and transactions and then there are solutions which are better for brand owners and operators who are protective about projecting their qualities through their DS/DOOH networks.

    I have to say that from what I’ve seen of Amscreen, it doesn’t match with the impressions I have of BP’s brand – although that might be compromised by being a committed BP IT contractor for several years in the Nineties – and it certainly doesn’t meld with those sites it shares with M&S.

    But – as the man says – the market will decide: if the content doesn’t drive sales in the right way, BP will make a decision, likewise if there is a reliability issue or an inability to sell media to brand managers.

    The biggest potential problem for the partners in this project is whether they’ll have sufficient honesty to confront any negative feedback from their pilot or whether corporate group-think and a compromised “we’ll fix this later” attitude will prevail: I guess time will tell.

  5. Phil Says:


    Problem we all have with this is that it is a repeat of failed formats that have left a sour taste in the mouths of many brands, local companies and not least investors (I speak from bitter personal experience having dropped £xoo,ooo on this). Look at Firebrand, Forecourt TV, Screen FX, Mall tv, etc, etc).

    I think I wish you luck trying to sell the space! But if it fails to deliver any value to those buying advertising space (as experience would indicate) then we are all tarnished with this brush and because the SIRALAN brand is involved it will be a very public flogging!!!

  6. J Woolsey Says:

    Guy’s you are missing the point, it’s infotainment at the POS and another digital screen up in the industry.

    The BP program is moving in the right direction and looks very solid, most of the comments provided make me wonder who are you people and what have you done as you sound like a pack of old ladies.

    Its very obvious what will ROI this program, nice job Todd keep rolling forward.

    J Woolsey

  7. Anon Says:

    It is sad to see so much personal opinion and bitterness clouding this initiative. Here is a network developed through solid customer feedback, store trials and created specifically for the busy forecourt environment. The doubters may continue to voice their personal opinions but you can’t argue with facts and I believe that thorough research and feedback has resulted in this purpose-built network for the forecourt store environment. I am sure BP would not have embarked on this without consulting the media experts, their customers and understanding what works best in a busy environment; the Amscreen screen is eye-catching, dynamic and most importantly allows digital media to physically work in an environment where space is at a premium and larger format screens just won’t work (particularly at eye-level)…plus plug & play means no other complex additional equipment. This may go against what some of you believe to be ‘right’ but I challenge you to rethink your own beliefs and expertise and be open to the possibilities of this network rather than judge it based on potentially outdated ideals of what ‘good looks like’….surely positive research and nothing but good feedback to date for this network means Amscreen is doing something right. You may not like the screen but the screen and content delivers and does so in simple and impactful way without any of the complexity, whilst also being cost efficient thus allowing for the best chance of survival in this challenging industry. I think it’s time the industry made way for some fresh thinking and celebrated progress rather than criticised a network developed on fact, research, knowledge and expertise rather than opinion.

  8. Phil Says:

    J Woolsey – I think for the tone of your reply you have not look at the bigger picture! The brands will not buy in to a sub stand DS solution, that is why millions of pounds have been pumped into making the display look as good as possible.

  9. Jason Cremins Says:

    Unfortunately, when you only have one DS product to offer then it is a case of ‘one size fits all’ (or not as the case may be).

    As Head of POPAIdigital I spend considerable time educating all stakeholders in DS networks in the importance of deploying optimal solutions to achieve maximum acceptance from both viewer and advertiser.

    I have commented on the Netto trial recently ( and back in December I posted the following in response to the Lloyds Pharmacy trial, again covered by the DailyDOOH.

    Do you think I might have been on to something?

  10. James Tabor Says:

    Interesting discussion – however, this is the first network that seems to be researching and proving itself as it rolls out. It will remain to be seen as to how successful it shall be based on current market conditions. It is frustrating that so many people focus on how nice a product looks – womens “gossip rags” are highly unappealing and not particualrly tactile but there isn’t a press buyer who doesn’t acknowledge their value in a media plan.

    Amscreens product doesn’t look as “sexy” as say “Streetbright” or the LED spectacular at Westfield – but then it doesn’t pertain to be and nor should it. The audience is viable, strong and is being well researched – what we need to remember is that audience really doesn’t interpret the message based on it’s means of conveyance, it just processes the message.

    Certainly not the slinkiest – but hey at least its not pretending to be! Looking for positives i.e. research, consistency of development and proving the general value of DS should be applauded and focused, not derided.


  11. Guy Bucknall Says:


    I wonder how many of the negative posts above are submitted by people who are operating networks surviving on advertising sales alone? This industry is presently in transition from ‘might be a good idea’ into something that is a solid, stand alone, profitable niche. If that is to be achieved, for the good of us all, then ROI is more than essential – it is critical.

    BP have been playing with a number of suppliers in this trial for years and it seems to me that there is a new three party team here. Anybody who says that they have launched a network exactly right first time, needs a fire blanket for their knickers and the same applies to those, other than a select few, who presently have ‘profitable ad based business models’. Note that this network is not ‘estate wide’ yet and thus is still in trial and data gathering mode. It seems a little obvious that basket size, other than fuel, in this example is not going to be big and the dwell time short. So where’s the justification for major hardware and content creation spend from the outset?

    I’ve mentioned it more than once before on this blog – trial, trial and then trial again. Then you, as a network operator, might have a profitable business and not just your hardware and content suppliers. How many of you would dare to ask your shareholders if they would have preferred you’d got the model right before you rolled it out?

    I’d rather be selling second hand Ford’s at a profit than Lambourghini’s at a loss and without a doubt, shareholders who have ever deepening pockets and who have consistently lengthened their arms to keep this industry alive, will to a man / woman agree with me.


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