Peter J. Solomon Company And Natixis Complete Transaction

June 27th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Investment banking advisory firm Peter J. Solomon Company, New York, has announced the completion of its combination with French financial services firm, Natixis.

Under the terms of the agreement first announced in February, Natixis has acquired a majority 51% stake in PJSC to establish a combined global M&A and financing platform.

PJSC founder and chairman Peter J. Solomon will continue in his role as chairman; Natixis CEO Laurent Mignon will be the lead director of the Board. Former PJSC vice-chairman Marc Cooper has been promoted to CEO; Kenneth Baronoff will serve as COO of an expanded PJSC. Current PJSC partners will continue to operate as an entrepreneurial firm. PJSC will retain its name and remain headquartered in New York.

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AccuWeather Offers Minute-by-Minute Forecasts via AppLink in Ford’s New SYNC 3 In-Car System

June 25th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

It’s interesting to see how the screens in cars that are becoming to look more and more like basic digital signage, and that seems more the case as screens get a little larger and additional ‘products’ are added.

Ford screen accuweatherThe new ‘product’ on Ford‘s new SYNC 3 in-car communications and entertainment system, initially available in Ford’s Mondeo, S-MAX, and Galaxy models, is from AccuWeather, global leader in weather information and active in digital signage.

AccuWeather’s patented MinuteCast minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts are now available to drivers via AppLink on the Ford screens.

MinuteCast provides exclusive minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts with Superior Accuracy, including hyper-local information on precipitation type, intensity, and duration using exact street addresses or GPS locations, keeping people informed and safe on the go.

AccuWeather’s award-winning iOS App seamlessly syncs with Ford vehicles through Ford’s in-car, voice-activated AppLink technology. With the push of a button, AppLink allows users to simply speak to request their local weather information and it is instantly displayed on the car’s smartphone-like touchscreen in the language of the country where they live, now available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Through SYNC 3 and AppLink, AccuWeather also provides access to detailed weather information including severe weather alerts, daily forecasts with high and low temperatures, and local summary forecasts so that travelers know what to expect in the next three-to-five days to plan ahead.

Peerless AV’s Client Daytona Raceway Named Sports Facility Of The Year

June 24th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Back in February, 2015, Aurora, Illinois-based Peerless AV was one of six technology companies named to take part in the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project of the famed Daytona Raceway


The six together formed the Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW. They included Presenting Partner CDW along with Belden, CommScope, The Integration Factory, Peerless-AV, and Schneider Electric.

“Fans don’t just go to sporting events anymore – they go to social events that involve sports, and technology plays a major role in enabling that ideal fan experience,” said Joie Chitwood III, Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III, in making the announcement. “We’re confident that working with this combination of industry leading companies will allow us to deliver the technology services and amenities that the racing fans of today and tomorrow can expect.”

The group sure did.

For its part, Peerless AV installed a total of 800 displays of various sizes including its Xtreme Outdoor Daylight Readable Displays, UV2 Outdoor TVs, and mounts throughout the garage/pit areas and the grandstands.

“We installed them in 2015 and early 2016 in time that all were ready before the 2016 Daytona 500 took place in February,” says Brian McClimans, vice-president, global business development of the Always Versatile Peerless-AV. “We are proud to have played a role in the success of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising renovation.

“And we’re thrilled to celebrate that the Daytona International Speedway was named Sports Business Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal. With over 800 Peerless-AV Outdoor Displays installed at the speedway, fans never have to miss a minute of the action!”

Howard Staines Moves Up at @blowUPmediaUK

June 24th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

blowUP media UK has promoted account director Howard Staines to group head, reporting to sales director Simon Russell.

Howard Staines joined blowUP media from Trendy Media back in 2013 and before that spent two years on the Retail Sales Team at JCDecaux.

Under sales director Simon Russell blowUP media has developed a ‘go to market’ sales strategy, emphasising its ability to target hard-to-reach audiences in an era of fragmenting broadcast media.

This has been particularly successful in London with its sites in Dalston, Kings Cross and Shoreditch, in and around the thriving ‘Tech City’ and its population of affluent young professionals.

Simon Russell told us “Over the past two years Howard has taken on more responsibility and has developed as a strong manager while still maintaining a very strong sales performance.”

Howard Staines said “blowUP media has demonstrated a growing ability to target valuable new audiences and attract new clients to the medium in the two years since Simon joined from Kinetic. I’m delighted to be playing a bigger role in a very exciting time for the company.”

In his new role Staines will take day-to-day control of the blowUP media sales team as it develops its national Giant Poster business.

George Clopp Joins RMG Networks

June 24th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

George Clopp has joined RMG Networks Holding Corporation (RMG Networks), Dallas-based provider of technology-driven visual communications solutions as its senior vice president, chief technology officer.

George Clopp

George Clopp

Clopp replaces Rick Mattock, who previously held the position.

“Mattock is pursuing other opportunities outside of RMG, but has been helpful in the transition to the new CTO,”
says Robert Michelson, CEO and president of RMG Networks.

A statement by RMG says that as the company continues to evolve its positioning to provide enhanced value to its customers, it is elevating its capabilities and product suites by provisioning more advanced innovation and strategic technological solutions.

Clopp’s skill set includes a robust level of expertise in infrastructure architecture, data warehouse, big data reporting and analytics, complex deployments and robust operational support for multi-terabyte systems.

Throughout his more than 20-year career, Clopp has focused on leading and delivering complex mission-critical software systems for some of the leading companies in the world including FedEx, Bloomberg, Macy’s, Walgreens, Hilton, Exxon, Shell, JCP and the NFL. He has also led development teams of more than 200 people for several Silicon Valley companies and developed a strong foundation from his experiences at Bell South and Deloitte.

Clopp recently spent six years at Epsilon, a major company in terms of turning data-driven marketing into lasting relationships. Epsilon’s technology, using a combination of systems and data/analytics, drove the company’s immense success.

“RMG is advancing its positioning and value to our customers by providing digital communication solutions that drive customer actions (sales and/or conversions) and employee engagement,”
says Michelson. “Clopp’s background in complex system development and data analytics is a perfect combination to accelerate and complete the value we will be bringing to our customers.”

“It’s amazing to join a company like RMG that has established an industry-wide reputation for developing innovative digital solutions,” says Clopp. “I’m eager to work with RMG to develop next generation complex systems for some of the most recognizable brands worldwide.”

Clopp has showcased his technical experience by designing and implementing mission-critical systems in the healthcare, financial, retail, travel, pharmaceutical, banking, aerospace, telecom, shipping and brokerage industries prior to joining RMG Networks.

Vistar Media Releases Free Media Planning Software for OOH Buyers

June 23rd, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

With a lot of hype and much inaccuracy in the detail, Vistar Media this week announced the release of a free, web-based media planning software which they say will simplify the out-of-home planning process for buyers.

imagesThis software includes data on all static and digital inventory available in the United States across place-based, transit, and outdoor media.

Michael Provenzano, CEO & Co-Founder of Vistar Media said “The majority of the industry knows Vistar for building the bridge between digital media buyers and out-of-home media owners. We are excited to continue adding value in the out-of-home ecosystem by giving existing buyers of out-of-home the most advanced mapping software in this industry at no cost.”

The software enables buyers to ask spatial questions nationwide and quickly visualize out-of-home media.

Ryan Laul, President, Outdoor Media Group said “Vistar’s planning software will allow the Out-of-Home industry to tap into the plethora of data that exists and overlay it with the geo-location data of OOH media to develop key insights during the planning process”.

He added “Never before, has the industry had access to a centralized source of data across the spectrum of OOH providing this type of utility at no cost” conveniently forgetting the Online Planning Tool that Ayuda Media Systems developed for the DPAA back in 2010 and that AdStruc and DoMedia have been doing this for years!

Whilst AdStruc is free for sellers, but buyers pay and DoMedia is free for buyers, but sellers pay what Vistar is claiming is NOT new (in anyway).

Seemingly, every month, a new ‘DOOH buying tool’ is announced or pops up. In the language of ad tech, these buying tools are called ‘Demand Side Platforms’ or DSPs. DSPs can buy inventory from multiple media sellers all at once, usually through an exchange that consolidates inventory (see some of the ‘new’ players here**).

And whilst we talk of new, let’s take a moment to reflect on those who didn’t make it – companies that tried to build a business as OOH DSPs – SeeSaw, Adcentricity, etc.

And finally, whilst it is claimed that beta testers of Vistar’s planning tool have reduced their planning times from days to minutes (not hard to believe in actual fact) let’s NOT pretend that planning and buying platforms are in anyway new.

The “never before” language is definitely without merit.

For more information about Vistar’s free mapping software, please contact

** Some of the ‘new’ players


Harry Horn, New @ScalaInc General Manager of EMEA

June 23rd, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

Scala, Inc. announced this week that Harry Horn is now leading operations in the EMEA region as vice president and general manager.

In this role, Harry Horn will oversee efforts in sales, marketing, finance, services and support and daily activity in the Sittard, Netherlands-based EMEA office. He will also continue to oversee Scala’s marketing strategy as global marketing vice president.

Rune Halvorsen, chairman of the Scala board told us “Harry’s marketing efforts have consistently supported and reinforced Scala’s sales and services goals, and his broad knowledge of the EMEA digital landscape and partner network makes stepping into this role a natural fit. This also brings continuity to the EMEA leadership.”

Harry Horn joined Scala in 2010 with more than 20 years of experience and in 2012 took over the direction of the global marketing strategy driving digital marketing, events, thought leadership and communications, awareness campaigns and prospect nurturing.

Luc Quétel Out, Karine Moses In at Astral Out-of-Home

June 23rd, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Bell Media has appointed Karine Moses as president, Astral Out-of-Home following Luc Quétel’s decision to pursue new business and personal opportunities.

KarineMosesMoses joins Bell Media on Monday, July 4, and will be based in Montréal. She will lead all operations of the company’s five product lines: outdoor advertising, street furniture, airports, transit, and large format digital.

Recently vice-president, field operations support for Bell, Moses previously held the position of vice-president, Bell Technical Solutions,

“Karine is a focused, proactive leader with a proven record of managing large teams and delivering a positive client experience,” says Mary Ann Turcke, president, Bell Media. “I’m confident that Astral Out-of-Home will benefit greatly from her extensive experience, creativity, and passion.”

“I have had an extremely rewarding experience with Astral Out of Home and Bell Media and now look forward to new challenges on both a personal and professional level,” says Quétel, who was featured in DailyDOOH’s CEO Spotlight last October. “This is a strong and dedicated team. I am confident that they are in good hands with Karine, and I know that they will continue to have great success in the future.”

With a passion for technology innovation and a commitment to excellent client service, Moses brings a dynamic skill set to Astral Out-of-Home. She will report to Stuart Garvie, president, Bell Media Sales, and work closely with Luc Beaulieu, vice-president, Real Estate and Operations; Benjamin Mathieu, general manager, Airports; Luc Paradis, director, Technology; Laura Araujo, director, Market Strategy, Transport; and Gabriel Landry, director, Creatives Services.

“I look forward to building upon Luc Quétel’s impressive legacy to further expand Astral Out- of-Home’s leading role in Canadian out-of-home advertising as we continue to find innovative ways for our clients to connect to consumers,” says Moses.

Next @DSFederation Meet & Greet, Minnesota, July 21

June 23rd, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Board of Directors of the Digital Signage Federation, independent not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry, will host the summer ‘Meet & Greet’ Networking Event on Thursday, July 21, from 6:30pm-to-8:30pm at the Microsoft Training Center in Edina, Minnesota.

The event will feature presenters from Microsoft who will discuss their involvement in the personalization of digital signage in retail.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with the DSF Board of Directors as well as other professional members in attendance to conversationally share their business experience, enumerate industry opportunities, and discuss the benefits of membership in the DSF.

This is a great opportunity, no matter what business you’re in, for you, your colleagues, clients and prospective clients to attend and learn about the many creative ways your organization can make money by being involved in digital signage industry.

The event is complimentary for DSF members and US$25 for non-members. It will include drinks and light appetizers.

Registration is available here on the DSF website.

Location: Microsoft Training Center 3601 76th Street West, Edina, MN 55435

New Research Highlights DOOH Effectiveness In Canada

June 23rd, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Over seven in 10 shoppers in Canada’s major cities agree that digital signs are an effective way to communicate with them, according to new research commissioned by the Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada.

logo_omac-1The study found that almost five in 10 shoppers are also interested in interacting with digital ads to obtain information or promotional offers on products and/or services.

The study also found that the recall of DOOH ads is high, particularly in major cities where over one-half recall ads on a weekly basis.

Some of the key findings of the study are:

  • Eight out of 10 shoppers in the major urban markets of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal agree that DOOH is effective in communicating Public Safety Messages;
  • 70% of shoppers accept digital signs as a normal part of public space in large cities (almost 80% in Toronto compared to 69% in Vancouver and 66% in Montreal);
  • 81% of shoppers in Toronto find that DOOH is seen as an effective way to communicate important and timely information while over three quarters (71%) in Montreal and 63% in Vancouver agree;
  • Six out of 10 shoppers in major urban markets Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal notice digital billboards;
  • Vancouver shoppers pay the most attention, with almost three quarters (73%) saying they notice digital billboards, compared to 62% in Toronto and 60% in Montreal;
  • Attention levels are highest (79%) among urban adults age 35 – 49, a group that has an active lifestyle and spends more than half their day outside the home;
  • Attention levels are also high among smartphone owners (73%) providing opportunities for advertisers to interact with shoppers to provide offers and product/store information.

“DOOH is seen as an effective way to communicate timely and relevant information to Canadians, making it the ideal medium for public safety messages and to promote consumer products and services,” says Rosanne Caron, OMAC president.