It’s been Clear Channel’s biggest year ever! Not only has it been a fantastic year for the wider Out of Home (OOH) industry, Clear Channel has had some amazing successes in 2019, such as celebrating our 2000th Adshel Live screen, hosting our CC On the Record event, as well as the company committing to become not just a Platform for Brands, but a Platform for Good.
December is a month of reflection, looking back at the successes of the past 12 months and gearing up for a new year. We asked members of our staff from across different parts of the business about their best bits, standout moments and what’s to come in 2020.
Our interviewees are: Creative Director Louise Stubbings, Delivery Director Mark Webb, Chief Marketing Officer Martin Corke, Client Partner Julian Kindred, Head of Commercial Finance Emma Nottingham, Head of Reach Portfolio Alistair Cox, and HR Director Joanne Henderson.
Your 2019 highlight?
Louise Stubbings: Seeing our Fairness pillar really start to come to life this year with campaigns like 56 Black Men and Pride. I'm incredibly proud to work for a company that puts doing the right thing at the heart of what it does, rather than an add-on. Our new Platform for Brands and Platform for Good positioning articulates this perfectly. Oh, and I learned to ski - one of the best things I've ever done!
Mark Webb: Helping to win two more London Borough contracts after hugely competitive tenders. Personally? Watching Spurs sadly lose the Champions League final, with both my Dad and my son because I never thought that we would ever be together to experience it, or that Spurs would even get there in the first place.
Martin Corke: Our ‘On The Record’ event and content was a particular personal highlight. On the first working day of 2019, we set out a bold target - to deliver our biggest year yet. My professional highlight is being part of an amazing team that have collectively achieved that challenging goal.
Julian Kindred: Working with the FMCG category, it’s been really positive to see this sector outperforming the market with a large spend growth with Clear Channel in 2019 across both food & drink. Personally? Nothing can beat the birth of my new daughter which we rather aptly named ‘Autumn’ as she was introduced to us in October.
Emma Nottingham: Personally, we had a trip to the US in May which included surfing on Baywatch beach; I actually managed to stand up for the first time ever.
Alistair Cox: Definitely the delivery of our 2,000th Adshel Live screen – real landmark as we create the future of media. Personally? Exploring the Norwegian Fjords – a real privilege.
Joanne Henderson: Introducing the Mental Health at Work programme – this is something close to my heart and important to so many people at CCUK. It’s got off to a great start. That and potty training my third child – we’re nappy free after over 7 years!
Your proudest moment of the year?
LS: My team have delivered so many amazing projects across the past 12 months - NHS Blood Donation, the cross market Pride campaign, 02 Ouch, Brighton living roof shelter - I am proud of how they have helped to raise the standard of creativity in OOH.
MW: Meeting Kathy, our beach cleaning operative in Swansea.
MC: Seeing Cephas Williams being interviewed by our own Caroline Forbes in Cannes. It made me both proud of an amazing colleague and our authentic commitment to be a Platform for Good.
JK: I can’t name one moment, however as we invest a lot of time in producing hero content that looks in depth within our client sector, it’s empowering to hear how well received this has been.
EN: Outperforming budget. Started 2019 with a cost challenge and throughout the year we identified a number of initiatives with the business to deliver the task in full.
AC: For me it was winning a number of key tenders – something that will really drive the business forward in 2020.
JH: #PeopleBehindThePosters – it’s great to see our culture portrayed so well in just two minutes! And - more a reflection than a feeling - being part of a team that both achieved amazing results and continues to focus on being a great place to work, with great feedback from our people.
Your biggest challenge?
LS: My team is always working on new exciting installations and campaigns, many of which have never been done before, so in that way there’s always a challenge. This can lead to some difficult moments which do cause tension but remembering that we are all working towards the same goal helps to get past that.
MW: Relationships with a couple of key councils were not always where they should have been. We addressed this by being honest about what had gone wrong and delivering what we said we would.
MC: The very public issues around HFSS advertising have been an ongoing challenge. Again, I am proud that Clear Channel has elected to take a proactive, responsible stance in going way beyond what is required of us.
JK: For me, it’s very much putting a differing hat for each client, which presents a continual challenge to build upon my knowledge. As the same time, this is one of the most rewarding elements of my role as it has enabled me to continually learn.
EN: I had the opportunity to support the Management Information team as well as my current team during 2019. This was a huge challenge, as not only did the work load increase, but I also had to focus on areas of finance I had not done for years. How I got through it? Simple really; the team around me were fabulous I couldn’t have done it without them.
AC: Delivering screen requirements when a couple of major contractual hiccups meant we had to pick up a shortfall. We worked closely though with the partnership, delivery and construction team to secure and build extra opportunities – which is reflected in the stellar screen growth across the back end of the year.
JH: No one thing really, just the challenge of juggling everything, like most people face! And there has been a lot of change in 2019 – leadership changes in CCUK and CCI and changes in the HR team. It’s not been a challenge as such, just a big change after working with the same people closely for years. Luckily, CC is full of great people.
LS: To put myself out there more in terms of sharing how I'm feeling and thinking about things. It's scary sometimes and you worry that people aren't interested or will react badly, but so much of that is in your own head, and often if you share how you're feeling you find other people are feeling the same.
MW: Professional? Perfecting the massive delivery machine that our Adshel and Billboard Live ambitions require. Personal? Get my dodgy back sorted out for good!
MC: Definitely centring upon Marketing delivering on our collective vision. I’m really excited to prove that Clear Channel is both an effective Platform for Brands and a purposeful Platform for Good.
JK: Cementing stronger relationships through thought leadership with our client partners, which will help to better understand their businesses. Personally, I’m going to be challenging myself to go Vegan for January.
EN: One of the key projects for the finance team in 2020 is the upgrade of the finance system. Next year will definitely be key to defining the system architecture and reporting requirements.
AC: Professionally? Delivering 3,000 screens through a combination of building on the existing estate and adding exciting new towns and cities to our proposition. Personally? Surf more!
JH: Continue our Fairness work in a way that reaches even more people at Clear Channel – we’ve done some great things and there is more to be done. Get out more – I’m looking for theatre recommendations please…
What are you most excited for in the coming year?
LS: We are moving our attention towards engaging more fully with the creative communities in 2020. Creative Agencies are an untapped area of influence for us as a business and I am excited about working more closely with them in 2020.
MW: Delivering all those fantastic new contracts we’ve won in 2019!
MC: In daring to be different across our business, I’m excited to see what we can achieve together. As a footie fan, I’m also really looking forward to the Euros.
JK: I’m looking forward to seeing the increase of advertising brand count with important new calendar moments. Veganuary will be the first to kick start the year and I expect to see many more new developing moments touched upon throughout the year. I’m expecting to see a strong year for FMCG in 2020 as clients are expanding their media consideration outside of TV and online.
EN: The company has some exciting plans for digital transformation next year, and I’m really looking forward to working with the business, providing financial support and guidance during the transition which will ultimately improve profitability.
AC: The significant number of Environmental and Social projects we’ll be delivering across 2020 as part of our ‘Platform for Good’, building on the fantastic partnership we have with Trees for Cities and other key partners to create a lasting legacy for communities across the UK we have advertising in – I think that’s something we should all be excited by.
JH: We’ve had a number of new people join the HR team this year, it’ll be great to see what we can do together in 2020, building on our great culture and supporting the #PeopleBehindThePosters