The ever interesting out of home business is all-a-twitter (in the old sense, but maybe in the new one too) at today’s news that former Kinetic boss Eric Newnham (left) has taken a stake, and become a director, in UK-based independent out of home specialist Talon.
Talon was started in 2007 by former IPM boss Nick Jarman. IPM is owned by Interpublic but comes way behind WPP-owned Kinetic and Aegis’ Posterscope in the marcoms-owned outdoor agency stakes.
Since he left Kinetic in 2010 (the buy-out was completed in the last few months and is thought to have brought Newnham £20m or so) Newnham has taken stakes in a number of outdoor or events-related companies including Blis Media, Ballpark Ventures and Let’s Go Crazy.
But you feel that these are hardly meat and potatoes to the hyperactive Newnham, who built Kinetic from mid-sized UK poster buying agency Poster Publicity to a world leader in out of home in its broadest sense; taking in experiential marketing, events and lots of other stuff besides.
On the face of it his involvement in Talon looks like a similar, mostly hands-off, deal to the relationship with real time media buyer Blis and the others.
But his old friends (and rivals) expect him to bounce back into the out of home fray full time, taking on the might of Kinetic and Posterscope.
But Eric didn’t become as rich as he has by taking foolish risks.
Can he, does he want to, try to turn Talon (already part of an international network of small independents) into a third force in global out of home?
There’d be no shortage of potential buyers if he succeeded in so doing.
One of my sources has just described this to me as ‘Nightmare on Elm Street Returns.’ Surely not…
While another tells me I’ve doubled Eric’s wealth, sorry Eric