How CBS Outdoor got the £1.5bn contract of the decade completely wrong

CBS Outdoor is suing London Underground owner Transport for London over its alleged mismanagement of the £1.5bn tube advertising contract CBS ‘won’ in 2006.

Among the things CBS failed to anticipate were upgrading engineering works for the ageing system, modernisation of some key central London stations as part of the Crossrail project and the more predictable fact that some of the groovy new technologies aimed at bringing moving pictures to the tube didn’t actually work that well.

As Kevin Shute of outdoor services company Rainmaker explains in this piece for The Media Briefing they were also caught short by the fact that the management of WPP’s part-owned outdoor specialist agency Kinetic (formerly Poster Publicity) was struggling to deliver the numbers required for the maximum earn-out in the teeth of an advertising recession.

Meaning that Kinetic would place its clients’ money among media owners offering the most commission. Which clearly didn’t include CBS.

There are times when dealing in the City looks a piece of cake in relation to media buying.

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