LONDON – Staff from merged outdoor buying specialists Portland and Poster Publicity have come together in new Paddington office as Kinetic, in the first phase of a staggered global launch for the WPP Group company.
Two years in the making, according to its global chief executive Eric Newnham, the completed deal sees WPP ally the buying power of previously independent Poster Publicity to its Portland Outdoor division.
Kinetic will handle outdoor buying for WPP agencies MindShare and Mediaedge:cia, and pooled buying operation Group M. It also buys for Poster Publicity clients Publicis Groupe's Starcom and independent agency BLM.
MediaCom, recently acquired by WPP, still has its own arrangements with Aegis's Posterscope, the main rival to Kinetic in the UK, but is widely expected to move to Kinetic in the coming months.
Newnham, previously group chief executive of Poster Publicity, is overseeing the combination and rebranding of the operations. Also launching today are offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. The US launch is set for July and the Kinetic identity will replace the former companies' branding in other major markets by the end of the year.
Kinetic's UK operations will be headed by managing director Paul Shearring, who was formerly managing director at Poster Publicity. Shearring's task is to instil a shared culture for the planners and buyers who have moved from Poster Publicity and Portland's respective old bases in Victoria and the West End.
Outside the UK, former Portland managing director Alex Thompson takes the chief operating officer role at the European network, while former Poster Publicity European managing director Mike Segrue becomes global chief client officer.
"Clients want a global perspective when planning their outdoor media campaigns and Kinetic's broader and deeper reach allows it to deliver this," Newnham said.
The global team will coordinate pan-regional campaigns for advertisers including Bacardi Martini, Estee Lauder and Samsung.
There had been concerns that competition authorities would hold up the deal with the UK of most concern, but the Office of Fair Trading gave its approval in May.
Kinetic will also focus on selling outdoor to new clients, for example retailers, as new opportunities such as digital media develop, Newnham said.
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