Avanti Screenmedia Announces Two New Contract Wins

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Avanti Screenmedia just announced two new contract wins. The first that it had extended its contract with its largest client, The Mall Corporation, for a further 3 years.

The Mall Corporation owns and operates 23 shopping malls in the UK.

Now all Avanti need to do is, as previously suggested on this blog, bid for and win the ScreenFX mall network sales business and we would be talking large real estate in which to get the media buyers, planners and brands interested in.

Everyone knows that shopping malls are NOT the place that get brands too excited – so size is key and they ought to ask Ken Ford, CEO of The Mall Corporation for a recommendation. Ken was quoted as saying “We regard Avanti Screenmedia as leaders in their sector, and believe they have the creativity, drive and ambition to make a significant contribution to our Malls over the next few years.”

Avanti also announced a deal with Electric <sic> Health Media (EHM) which they say is expected to raise revenues of between £500,000 and £1m in the next 12 months (I think this is unrealistic as I describe later) – there is also no information on the revenue split – often 70 / 30 or 60 / 40 to venue+operator and media sales house.

I am not convinced that this is such a good deal as it is local sales related NOT National Sales.

The Avanti announcement says Electric <sic> Health Media (EHM) but I think they mean Electronic Health Media, see http://www.e-hm.co.uk/

Electronic Health Media is a new’ish Scala powered network that I have previously reported on (and it’s in DOOHAN) – Digital Media Sales (DMS) Ltd have the contract for National media sales on the EHM network.

See http://www.dailydooh.com/index.php/archives/171

Anyway, this new contract gives Avanti the rights to sell local advertising for EHM across their current portfolio of 150 screens at 105 sites (EHM expect to expand to 350 screens by December 2007 but that seems ambitious).

Simon Rees, CEO of Avanti Screenmedia said “This is Avanti’s first venture into local sales for a third party and first focus on the health sector. We are delighted to partner with EHM in this venture and it demonstrates Avanti’s intention to explore new revenue generating models.”

I really think that venturing into local sales is a diversion that Avanti could do without. Firebrand Media have also tried / are trying local sales (with some success I believe) but they are much smaller and already have a successful retail niche.

Local Sales are notoriously labour intensive and difficult to do. Avanti I feel would do much better to concentrate their efforts on the big networks and pulling in large national sales campaigns.

Avanti now do national sales for a couple of networks, local sales for EHM, have their own shoppinhg mall network, their own leisure / music network, the SETANTA sports contract, Kiosks in Marks and Spencer and also a couple of retail installations (Spar etc.) – that’s far too much diversity.

One thing with local sales also, and I am not saying don’t do them, just be careful, is; what do the Nivea’s, Mastercard’s, Mazda’s etc who have recently started playing with our digital medium think of being on a ‘content wheel’ next to a local advert for a taxi firm, curry house, reflexologist or dog walking business?

There is also the production values to consider. Mazda will have spent 1/2 million pounds on their recent Mazda2 TV commercial and you are proposing to run that next to a £450 piece of Flash animation?

Doing local sales for a small network is a diversion that I feel Avanti could do without and making between £500k and £1 million revenue on 105 sites for local advertising (that’s £4762 minimum per year per site needed) is VERY unrealistic.

At the moment the share price says different (it hit 7 pence during the morning’s trading on AIM) but I think the day traders may have got excited on the Mall announcement 😉

Leave a Reply