Review Of The Times Digital Signage Supplement

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

We thought that it would be worthwhile doing quite a detailed review of the 12 page Digital Signage supplement from Media Planet that appeared in the UK edition of The Times newspaper earlier this week on Wednesday 30th April 2008 (it may also appear in some other guise we believe at Digital Signage Expo next week in Essen).

First of all, we can’t believe that some of you (in the UK at least where it was published) missed this (as several of you whom we have met this week have told us).

We gave you all more than enough notice that the supplement was coming: –

  1. Don’t Forget The Times Today
  2. Oggul / Consumonics Ltd in The Times Supplement
  3. Supplement in The Times

Anyway, let’s start off with a page by page breakdown of what was in it.

Front Page

Title – “Digital Signage”, Sub-tiitle “Messages on the move” with an almost full page picture of CBS Outdoor’s DEPs at one of the London Underground Tube Stations.

Advert – 1/5th page for ONELAN offering readers the chance to “Register Today For a FREE Digital Signage Handbook

Page 2

Main article – “The digital route to filling the mind space”
Breakout article – “New Arsenal signing is a winner”

Mentions – Ajay Chowdhury, CEO, EnQii
Mentions – Damien Edmonds
Mentions – Angus Kinnear, Head Of Marketing, Arsenal Football Club

Advert – 1/5th page for Digital Signage Expo 2008, 6th – 8th May 2008

Page 3

Advert – Full page for GymScreen Media complete with “Powered By Scala” logo.

Page 4

Main article – “But can you measure it?” spread over pages 4 and 5

Mentions – Bob Clarke, CEO, AOB Ltd
Mentions – Nick Mottershead,
Mentions – Ajay Chowdhury, CEO, EnQii

Advert – 1/3rd page (2/3rds width) The European Digital Signage Show, 1st – 2nd October 2008
Advert – 1/3rd page (1/3rd width) spinnxs turns heads rotating digital billboard

Comment – Nick Mottershead hints that they are about to start testing an automated audience measurement system in their stadiums. Who between Trumedia and Quividi has won this business we wonder?

Page 5

Main article – “But can you measure it?” continued from page 4

Mentions – Bill Gerba, CEO, Wirespring
Mentions – Tariq Ahmad, CEO, Oggul / Consumonics Ltd
Mentions – James Davies, Board Director, Posterscope

Advert – 1/3rd page Liquid Digital

Comment – Bill Gerba is spot on, when he is quoted as saying “he feels that none of the gaze tracking systems are very good”. He goes on to say that “none are of production quality and does not feel that any big success stories have yet emerged to convince him otherwise”. We are absolutely 100% with him on all those points!

Page 6

Main article – “Location, location, location”
Promotional Feature – ONELAN on Pricewaterhouse Coopers installation

Picture of Enqii’s Liberty Travel Lightbox-like installation

Mentions – Guy Bucknall, MD Gym Technologies
Mentions – Bob Clarke, CEO, AOB

Advert – 1/5th page Comtech M2M

Page 7

Advert – Full page advert for BroadSign

Comment – Another example of Broadsign’s deep marketing pockets (and we believe their strategy before they go to IPO is to be seen everywhere). This advert would have cost them UK PDS 20,000 or more

Page 8

Main article – “The appliance of science” spread over pages 8 and 9

Mentions – Bill Gerba, CEO, Wirespring
Mentions – Tariq Ahmad, CEO, Oggul / Consumonics Ltd

Advert – 1/3rd page ADDER Digital Signage Distribution and Extension

Page 9

Main article – “The appliance of science” continued from page 8
Promotional Feature – Oggul / Consumonics Ltd
Promotional Feature – GymScreen Media Sales Results

Mentions – Stew Mercer, Oggul / Consumonics Ltd
Mentions – Guy Bucknall, MD Gym Technologies

Advert – 1/3rd page Consumonics / OGGUL

Page 10

Main article – “I want that one”

Mentions – Gerard Bucas, CEO, Scala
Mentions – Jeff Porter, Exec VP, Scala

Advert – 3 columns Symon i catching

Page 11 (inside back cover)

Advert – Full page advertisement for Sony ZIRIS

Back Cover

Advert – Full page advertisement for Scala


We had our doubts about this supplement before it was put together and unlike the likes of Damien Edmonds, Bob Clarke and Bill Gerba (who all have their own reasons, like we do, for publicity) we refused requests to give our expert opinion for no recompense.

However, we have to say that the journalist David Abbot who edited the supplement did a very good job indeed.

Our two highlights were ONELAN and GymScreen Media.

First we liked the fact that ONELAN were the only advertiser who went to the trouble of creating something to form a “call to action’ – in this case it was a Digital Signage Handbook which can be downloaded from their site (obviously also a great way to measure response).

Secondly, we particularly liked the fact that at least one screen network, in this case GymScreen Media bothered to advertise – it would have been good if Avanti Screen Media or Vision Media Group (in fact any of the UK AIM listed dooh companies could have / should have been advertising in a supplement that would have had an average circulation of well over 600,000 people).

One of the advertisers said to us yesterday (about their advert) “It’s led to a lot of sales calls (people trying to sell to us) I’ll reserve judgement on how successful it was until some of the more interesting leads to come from it have worked themselves out” which makes you think even more that screen networks should have been in there!

Bottom line the supplement was a good mix of editorial, adverts and opinion.

Yes of course there are the blatant bits of self promotion – you buy a full page advert for UK PDS 20,000 or more like Scala did and yes you will get your CEO and Exec VPs quoted in the supplement errr Broadsign, what happened? Where were you?

Anyway, to that end we thought it might be a bit of fun at the end of this (sort-of holiday) week to show who we think got the best out of the mentions in the supplement…

🙂 CLEVER CLOGS – Time and expert opinion donated for free and you give us a mention

Ajay Chowdhury, EnQii
Bob Clarke, AOB
James Davies, Posterscope
Damien Edmonds
Bill Gerba, Wirespring
Nick Mottershead,

🙁 NOT SO CLEVER – We paid you but you never mentioned us

Comtech M2M
Digital Signage Expo 2008
The European Digital Signage Expo
Liquid Digital

😉 ££££££ – We paid you so you will mention us

Guy Bucknall, GymScreen Media
Tariq Ahmad and Stew Mercer, Oggul / Consumonics Ltd
Gerard Bucas and Jeff Porter, Scala

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