•        2011-01-27
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WPP is to start a new outdoor holding company called Tenth Avenue which will include, inter alia, its Kinetic operation according to a report in Campaign.

Kinetic previously came under the GroupM banner, the holding company for its big media agencies, but Tenth Avenue is new and will be headed by former GroupM COO Rupert Day.

It may be just coincidence that this happening shortly after Eric Newnham, the chairman of Kinetic and before that CEO, decided to leave the company.

Tenth Avenue will also include, says Campaign, other out of homey things like experiential marketing (everything from handing out free samples to putting on laser shows). Presumably it’s been named after its intended base in New York.

Out of home or outdoor or posters (as we used to call the business) may seem small fry in relation to other media activities but in fact it’s booming (outdoor revenues in the UK rose 12.5 per cent last year) and, crucially, enjoys eye-watering margins of up to 30 per cent.

Media agencies are lucky if they can get four per cent on television or print.

As the media director of one of the UK’s biggest agencies said to me the other day: “Of course I’m interested in posters. It’s where all the profit comes from!”

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