Canadian ad giant Palmer helping guide Digital OOH firm

October 13, 2011 by Dave Haynes

I see a lot of press releases in a day and by necessity skip through them pretty quickly. It took a second pass through a releases late yesterday for me to pick up that, “Oh, it’s THAT Frank Palmer.”

A Vancouver-Whistler company called RTOWN Communications – which has a hotel and resort in-room TV channel, a Digital OOH network and some other digital activities – has done an equity partnership deal with Palmer Rogers Encore Ventures Inc. that gives RTOWN some financial management and business strategy support.

It’s kind of an “Ok, yeah, whatever” thing, except that Palmer is Frank Palmer, who is easily one of the biggest names in Canadian advertising circles.

The Marketing Hall of Legends descibes him this way:

Known as the “winningest” man in Canadian advertising, Frank Palmer is one of the ad community’s most respected leaders. From his humble beginnings in Vancouver over 40 years ago, Frank has created Canada’s most creatively acclaimed marketing communications agency, remade DDB into a powerhouse brand, and changed the face of Canadian advertising.

By surrounding himself with the most creative minds and brightest talent in the early 1990s, Frank transformed his small west coast agency, Palmer Jarvis Advertising, into Canada’s top creative advertising agency with a reputation for effective and humorous work.

Rogers Encore is a joint venture between Palmer, who these days is the Chairman and CEO of the creative shop DDB Canada, and financial executive Mike Rogers.

Under the terms of the strategic partnership, says the release, Palmer Rogers Encore will provide RTOWN with business strategy support and financial management expertise as the company implements its aggressive growth strategy over the next number of years.

“Digital advertising continues to build momentum as media planners shift money away from traditional television towards a more targeted approach to advertising,” said Tom Horler, President of RTOWN Communications. “Working with Palmer Rogers Encore, we will be in a better position to take advantage of this trend as we implement our aggressive growth plans.”

RTOWN’s operates in 12 markets across Canada and the Caribbean, and says it delivers more than 4.5 million impressions a week via 27,000 screens (this would include hotel room TVs).

The company operates on a franchise model, with $95,000 to buy your way in and “everything you need to get your own network up and running” with 10 locations.

Not at all sure I would advocate jumping on that deal, as making money in hyper-local digital is REALLY hard. But having Palmer involved in some way is a big boost for RTOWN’s story, and he will undoubtedly provide some solid ideas on how to market this offer and make it work for people.

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