VMG Makes Queuing More Bearable

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

The execs at Vision Media Group (International) plc sure have been busy bees – basically lining up one deal after another. Fresh from signing the paperwork on the banner advertising deal with DailyDOOH they managed to find time to do a deal with Merlin Entertainments.

For those of you who are not familiar with Merlin Entertainments, let us tell you that they they operate some of the, if not THE, most prestigious leisure attractions in the UK, including the lines of Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and several others!

The deal involves VMG providing real time programming with Merlin Entertainments Group providing exclusive outdoor and digital TV media rights – together they have a five-year revenue sharing contract.

VMG said it is now in preliminary discussions with a national sales contractor as well as a potential season-long network sponsor.

VMG are also exploring the possibility of outsourcing local sales to another partner and we have a pretty good idea who that might be. There’s a natural match between the two parties and though we have never been the greatest fans of local advertiser, the natural match-up means it could be a good way to bring significant income into both businesses in a relatively straight forward manner.

RNS Number:2069R Vision Media Group (Intl) PLC 01 April 2008

Press Release 01 April 2008
Vision Media Group (International) plc
(“VMG” or “the Group”)
Five year contract with Merlin Entertainments Group

Vision Media Group (International) plc (AIM:VMG), the outdoor media contractor, announces that the Group has completed the signing of a new five year contract with the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin Entertainments Group (“Merlin”), for exclusive outdoor and digital TV media rights.

The agreement relates to VMG’s existing network of screens at visitor attractions run by Merlin across the UK, including Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Madame Tussauds and Thorpe Park. VMG will exclusively provide full content-rich programming in real time on the screen network on a revenue share basis.

The deal will leverage the existing prestige of Merlin’s locations as an advertising facility, already used by such brands as Coca Cola, EA Games, Universal Pictures, Fox Films, Muller Dairy, Island Records and United Biscuits, among others. VMG has recently invested in upgrading the network to enable remote access and real time media scheduling and booking. The Group is now in preliminary discussions with a National Sales Contractor and is also exploring the possibility of outsourcing local sales to another partner. VMG is also in discussions with a potential season-long network sponsor.

Mike Cottman, Executive Chairman of VMG, said: “We are delighted to have signed this contract with Merlin and it is testimony to the renewed strength of our business that this has been made possible. The theme park industry represents a highly desirable audience to advertisers with dwell times quite unlike any other in the outdoor industry, averaging over five hours per visit, with queue-line TVs often delivering captive audiences for up to two hours at a time.”

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About Merlin Entertainments Group

The Merlin Entertainments Group the leading name in location based, family entertainment, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world’s No 2 visitor attraction operator, Merlin aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 30 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13,000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Earth Explorer.

Tim Ritson, Sales and Marketing Director at VMG told us “the network represents another first for VMG as we strive to develop networks that set us apart from the norm. ‘Q’ Line TV will be one of the first ‘Out of Home TV’ channels to NOT run on a loop and with the focus on delivering content rich programming inline with a ‘TV’ oriented schedule”

2 Responses to “VMG Makes Queuing More Bearable”

  1. pooleys1 Says:

    DailyDOOH – when do you think we can expect an announcement by VMG regards their business proposals into the Mile East & India?
    In addition do we know what revenue is involved against estimated costs & GP’s.
    With all this positive news in the pipeline – is it your opinion that the SP will go north or will MM’s sit on the fence until more solid details are known.
    Today’s RNS had NO impact on SP. Your thoughts as always.
    Re Merlin what good business – just what was needed to cement confidence & will show other potential clients VMG’s porfolio.

  2. Adrian J Cotterill Says:

    Middle East announcement is imminent. We even know the great guy who has been lined up to run the business there. On April 21st / 22nd there is a big mall show in Dubai AND I just know that VMG will not want to miss that opportunity to sell and promote themselves in the region.

    The SP is unfortunately affected, we feel by a number of factors. PI’s have in the past been badly burnt by this stock – hey! just 12 momnths ago this stock was trading at 0.23 pence (yes 1/4 of a pence) and SFX had to issue a 100 : 1 share consolidation just to get some AIM respectability. It may take time for PIs and the City to come round to this stock but judging by what we have seen it should be in 2008 that people realise what assets and what mgmt these folks have

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