Stagwell Media Network ‘pours gas on the fire’ of its OOH offering via new partnership with Talon Outdoor

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Digiday has learned that Stagwell Media Network and U.K.-based out-of-home media company Talon Outdoor have cut a strategic partnership deal that boosts Stagwell’s digital OOH offerings for its clients while giving Talon better and deeper access in the U.S. marketplace. Both companies plan to alert their respective clients of the partnership starting immediately.

Principals at both firms talked a lot about OOH’s “renaissance” through its digital expansion into video, as well as the deeper data and insights about OOH audiences that can help to convince a broader array of clients to buy in as part of omnichannel media strategies. Media-spend predictions issued by the major holding companies in the last week or two confirm that OOH is expected to grow double-digit percentages in 2021 and ’22. 

According to Barry Cupples, Talon’s global CEO, Talon currently handles about $450 million in media spend in the U.K. and another $150 million in the U.S., so he’s looking to expand both numbers, with an emphasis on U.S. growth. “There’s lots of blue sky ahead,” said Cupples. 

As for Stagwell, Jon Schaaf, global chief investment officer at Stagwell Media Network (SMN), said the partnership “pours gas on the fire” of SMN’s OOH media practice, currently a very small portion of its $5 billion in media spend for clients across its agencies that it hopes to double in the next year.

“Our clients are looking for more trackability, scaleability, accountability in their media plans,” said Schaaf. “We always had a core OOH solution, but the depth and technology and analytics and resources Talon brings really help us up-sell and cross-sell these services to our clients.” 

Added Anas Ghazi, chief strategy officer for parent company Stagwell Group, and who oversees affiliate and strategic partnerships: “This fulfills a need we have with a partner who’s trusted and has global scale that’s also on the cusp of innovation and technology.”

Talon has worked hard to expand its U.S. reach throughout 2021 via several deals. It formed a strategic partnership Talon-Buntin America with agency The Buntin Group with a focus on local and regional brands, partnered with MadHive for a connected video offering that mashes up OTT and digital OOH, and allied with programmatic firm Hivestack. 

“Media has got to be braver in its role moving forward in a world that’s driven by client outcomes and proving that you can be a business partner top-line and bottom-line,” said Cupples. “The way Stagwell has played out to us fits very well with how we go to market. We’ll be very good bedfellows.”

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