Out-of-home (OOH) advertising providers Big Picture, Go Outdoor and Bacbou have consolidated their billboard and bus assets to form a new company called Go Media.
Jon Drumm, the new company's managing director who previously ran Big Picture Media, says that this makes Go Media the biggest independent OOH provider in the nation and the third largest overall.
"[This is] based on the number of billboard sites we hold and the fact that we hold key bus contracts as well," says Drumm. "It's also worth noting that we hold more billboards in our portfolio more billboards in our portfolio than other well-known companies in the market that were previously sold, such as OGGI and OTW."
Go Media has a particularly strong presence in the Canterbury region, where it owns almost 100 billboard sites. But Drumm says that the company's reach isn't only limited to the South Island.
"The Bacbou merger gives great penetration into the North Island provincial regions and the existing Big Picture and Go outdoor assets ensure the CBDs are covered in Wellington and Auckland," he said in a release to StopPress.
Drumm says that this move has been made to make the companies more competitive across the market.
"It was a joint decision by the directors based on wanting to be more relevant and competitive in the OOH industry and to ensure our growth continues," he says. "The consolidation streamlines the buying process for agencies and creates a truly nationwide solution."
And while he is optimistic about the potential of the newly merged entity, Drumm concedes that its success will largely depend on the ability of all the parties involved to communicate their new offering to the key media buyers in the industry.
"This will make us more competitive if we are able to communicate our offerings properly and continue to run timely campaigns for agencies. In certain regional North Island markets, Canterbury and the South Island overall we are leading the market; in the main metros, we have a great portfolio of quality sites and are still growing. I believe that agencies do their utmost to book the very best sites they can source for any campaign, so if agencies were aware of our key assets, they will buy from us. Simple really. We need to up our communication and do a great job of servicing these agencies."
He says that the agencies that previously worked with the discrete companies have welcomed the move, and he believes that the consolidated entity will give existing clients greater reach across the country.
This move comes at a good time for the OOH industry. According to the ASA's ad spend figures, the money spent on outdoor advertising rose from $67 million in 2012 to $76 million in 2013. And given that economy continues to recover after the GFC and that 2015 is a Rugby World Cup year, the outdoor industry is optimistic about the next few years.