oOh!media to sell Junkee Media as it focuses on OOH

Out of home media giant oOh!media has announced its plans to sell its digital media company Junkee Media as it increases its focus on its Out of Home (OOH) business.

oOh! CEO Cathy O’Connor, who was appointed in August 2020, said that as part of the company’s strategic review, it has determined that its core focus on OOH means that it will transition away from online digital publishing.

“oOh! is therefore appointing advisors to divest Junkee Media, its youth-orientated digital publishing business, which it expects to sell in the second half of this calendar year,” the company said, in a statement.

O’Connor explained that the company’s strategy was evolving to take advantage of numerous opportunities in OOH, and the Junkee divestment was part of a series of new initiatives to be announced over the coming months.

“When I talk to advertisers and agencies, they tell me they want to reach the right audience at the right price, format and location to deliver the best ROI, but they also say it is equally important to have a strong creative message that cuts through,” she said.

“As the market leader, we will show brands how best to use Out of Home smartly and creatively to deliver better results.

“The Junkee team have done a great job building a powerful media brand, and the recent long-term partnerships with Google and Facebook are testament to the value inherent in the business and its promising future. We believe this decision gives Junkee the best opportunity to build on its legacy and become even more successful for many years to come.”

The move will also see Neil Ackland, Junkee’s co-founder and current CEO, relinquish his Junkee position and remain at oOh! in his ongoing chief content, marketing and ceative officer role as part of the executive leadership team.

“Our strategy is to concentrate on Out of Home and do what we do best – making brands unmissable through our unique advantages in delivering audiences at scale, leveraging our exclusive data sets and showcasing Out of Home’s creative power,” O’Connor said.

“Our corporate purpose is to make public spaces better, which means we will use our digital media assets to go beyond just advertising, providing contextually relevant information and content that enhances public spaces. We believe this gives us clear differentiation and increases the value of our assets and our advertising.”

Most recently, oOh!media posted a net loss after tax of $35.7 million for 2020.

Whilst each category suffered as COVID lockdowns and restrictions cut commuter numbers sending each sector of the OOH pie down, the fourth quarter showed some hope with gains in key formats including the Road category – which comprises billboard assets and largely relates to the work down by subsidiary wide format printer Cactus Imaging.

In May, Cactus Imaging won the Big, Bold and Bright category for the Subway Footlong Fame campaign in association with oOh!media at the OMA 2021 Q1 Creative Collection competition.

It was also recently recommended for its signage that highlighted the positive outcomes of the pandemic experience in a sustainable way.

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