Eric Newnham’s new out of home operation Talon – backed by Omnicom Media Group – is making waves all over the place, not least in the wallets of a number of media and out of home professionals who may have thought their best years were behind them.
Andy Tilley, newly-appointed ‘chief strategy officer’ at Talon, is a veteran agency planner who still runs his Unity consultancy but who seemed to have drifted off the radar a bit after a stint at media millionaire Chris Ingram’s The Ingram Consultancy, a doomed attempt to challenge management consultancies.
Now Chris O’Donnell (left), a former high-up at Newnham’s old company WPP-owned Kinetic has surfaced, not at Talon (as many suspected he would) but as rival Posterscope’s first global commercial director.
O’Donnell is something of an Asia expert and Aegis-owned Posterscope is trying hard to expand in the region but his dramatic elevation surely owes as much to Posterscope fighting back against the depredations of Talon. Talon has already lured OMG’s £150m out of home business away from Posterscope in the UK and Posterscope now finds itself in a three-way global fight with OMG/Talon as well as Kinetic.
Out of home specialist agencies (formerly called poster specialists) are a British invention and they still make a large proportion of their money from the UK market. Media owners overseas have resisted the incursion of a third party in out of home deals, preferring to deal directly with media agencies and advertisers.
So, global or not (he’s apparently to be based in Hong Kong), one of O’Donnell’s tasks will be to shore up Posterscope business against the challenge of Talon.
I learn from my spies that O’Donnell was discussing a senior role at Talon with Eric Newnham only last week. Which, among other things, makes you wonder how long Posterscope had been planning the appointment of its ‘first global commercial director.’