DAN food court network bought by Swiss player
October 16, 2006 by Dave Haynes
This has been rumoured for months, but is now official:
From Media in Canada:
Toronto’s DAN (Digital Advertising Network) Media, which operates multi-format video screens in nearly 70 Canadian malls and about ten in the US, will be sold to Swiss-HQ’d Neo Advertising tomorrow for an undisclosed price. Warren Stelman, who founded DAN Media in 1999, will be succeeded by Christian Vaglio Giors as president/CEO, VP Ian Dobson tells Media in Canada.
Vaglio Giors will remain managing director of Geneva’s Neo Advertising, which is the leading digital signage operator in Switzerland. With its affiliates in Belgium, Germany and Spain, Neo plans to roll out a pan-European retail network of 50,000 digital panels by 2008.
Despite entering into a high-profile partnership with Clear Channel Malls (a division of Clear Channel Outdoor) to facilitate its entry into the US market last year, DAN filed for bankruptcy protection in July. Although speculation about the company’s probable demise has swirled ever since, Dobson says that “sales continued to be robust, although they declined somewhat – but now a new day is dawning for DAN” as it hooks up with an international company of Neo’s calibre.
DAN has been around for years, trying to make a buck out of a set of three tiled screens playing ads and soft content to the people who congregate in shopping mall food courts. Problem always was: nobody was watching the screens.
The word is that DAN had piled up massive losses, and went for a fire sale price. I don’t quite see how the Swiss guys will have more luck with this model, but my gut tells me the network was picked up as a land grab for space and relationships with malls across the country.
I’ve posted about these guys before, impressed by their plan and marketing efforts, so I’d suspect picking this up is a shrewd, not loopy, move.
UPDATE: The acquisition has been approved in Quebec. NEO has issued a press release saying the DAN brand will stick and the existing network will continue. A new management team is supposed to be announced next month.