Neo sets sights on US DOOH market

April 16, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Neo Media Group has finally come out with formal word that they have designs on building a digital out of home footprint in the US as they have done in Europe, and to a lesser extent, in Canada.

The Swiss-based company has retail-oriented networks in several European countries and has screens in the food courts of many malls in Canada, with designs to get into the rest of the mall area.

The company announced today, after months of quiet work, that it is going after the US market.

Neo Advertising Inc., a leading digital OOH network owner in Canada, has established an infrastructure for US operations. As a result of legal restructuring, Neo Advertising Inc. has become part of a new parent company, Neo Advertising North America Holdings Inc. (”Neo Advertising NA”), which formed Neo Advertising USA, LLC to lead the holding’s activities in the US.

Neo Advertising USA, LLC has set up sales and marketing offices in New York, NY, and a production and operations facility in Los Angeles, CA.

Former CEO of Neo Advertising Inc. Benjamin Mathieu, who has brought the Canadian company to profitability two years after its inception, has been appointed President and CEO of Neo Advertising NA. Christian Vaglio-Giors, founder of Neo Advertising Group and CEO of the holding Neo Media Group, will act as Chairman of the Board.

Phil Tweedy, formerly VP of Operations at Ascent Media, has joined Neo Advertising NA as Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Tweedy is an industry pioneer who brings along extensive expertise in building and managing the world’s largest digital signage networks. “With my vast experience in the Digital OOH market combined with the great team we are building in the US, the timing could not be better for Neo to become a sector leader in the US in a very short time,” says Tweedy.

“The US market has been in our sights from the very beginning,” says Benjamin Mathieu, CEO of Neo Advertising NA. “We needed time to field-test various business models and establish a solid track record in Canada. We had also dedicated a lot of time and effort to researching the robust market south of the border. We are now confident that we can import Neo’s success story into the United States. Strategically, it is also a good moment for such a move, as entry barriers for real estate acquisitions are lower when the economy slows down.”

Various surveys suggest that digital OOH is one of the few sectors that have been growing despite the recession, while all other media contracted.

According to Benjamin Mathieu, further announcements about Neo Advertising USA, LLC’s progress are to follow later in the year. 

Mathieu and Tweedy have actually been at this for a year or so, and are well advanced in their plans and discussions. I am aware of some of what they are up to, but it is for them to announce.

They are former clients and I have particularly enjoyed chatting with Tweedy (no slight on Benjamin), as he has a really intriguing background in video and entertainment work going back to his roots in London, England. Among other things he was a concert promoter as a youngster, and toured with The Who, capturing concert footage. Cool guy. And smart. 

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