Former Kinetic boss Eric Newnham (pictured) has made his first public reappearance since completing the earn-out of the out of home giant to WPP, becoming chairman and a shareholder of media targeting specialist Blis Media.
Blis aims to help media agencies target consumers precisely through real time bidding (RTB), cutting down waste and targeting consumers predisposed to buy the product or service in question with its proprietary Infinity+software. RTB is a growing factor in online advertising, forecast to be a $5bn sector by 2015, but is now also being some used in some traditional media buys.
Given Newnham’s track record in turning Kinetic from its roots as a UK-based poster buyer (originally Poster Publicity) into a global behemoth handling vast swathes of experiential as well as outdoor business, it’s reasonable to assume that Blis too has ambitions outside its current specialism.
Newnham says: “Blis has a fantastic market offer. They are not only enabling advertisers to take full advantage of smartphone and tablet penetration, but they are offering an incredible level of granularity (segmentation) in audience targeting. The company has an immense opportunity, a great management team and I am excited about being part of the business’s new product launches throughout 2012.”
Blis CEO Gregor Ibister says: “Eric’s experience and knowledge in matching consumers with location as well as his international knowledge of the media agency landscape is unrivaled. This knowledge fits perfectly with our Infinity+ targeting platform and Eric will be key to driving our targeting and audience profiling capabilities.”
Newnham is indeed one of the shrewdest operators in the media; securing a lucrative post-earnout sale to WPP despite the intervening financial crisis, partly through his ability to drive hard bargains with media agencies and others whose territory crossed into Kinetic’s.