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Lord Sugar: How I Got into Digital Signage

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Lord Sugar

Maybe you knew Alan from early days in consumer electronics at Amstrad like we did.

Maybe you knew him as chairman of Tottenham Hotspurs from 1991 to 2001. Or from the BBC TV series The Apprentice, based upon the popular US television show of the same name.

Or maybe you know him now as Lord Sugar-- owner of Amshold, and the digital signage division known as Amscreen.

In the digital signage industry, Amscreen describes itself as Europe’s largest, fastest growing digital outdoor network with 5000 screens reaches 50 million adults globally each week.

The “AMS” in Amscreen actually stands for… billionaire Alan Michael Sugar.

Recently Lord Sugar was unable to make a scheduled appearance at a summit on DOOH sponsored by Amscreen. As consolation, Amscreen provided a video of Lord Sugar talking about his perspective on digital signage.

We’ve pulled out a few of the quotes but you can watch the full video using the link below…

Lord Sugar explains why he got into digital signage:

“Why I decided to come into this market? It really follows on from a product we handled a long, long time ago, a telephone able to deliver adverts into consumer homes...It was that technology that sparked off in my mind that outdoor advertising one day has got to go totally digital.”

What do we need to succeed in digital-out-of-home? “The exciting thing about DOOH is the technology, what we can do, how we can place adverts within 10 seconds. When you compare that to the systems traditionally out there... it's a bit of a no-brainer as far as I am concerned. Apart from the technology we are bringing...it is also very nice to see technology being brought by Ocean, MediaCo. We need a lot more of this...We need a lot more technology coming in to the digital-out-of-home marketplace.”

What is Lord Sugar’s own pet peeve about the industry? “I would like us to see us changing the methodology of selling to advertisers. Don’t pay me so much money to be on our screen for a period of time but instead pay me on the amount of eyes that actually look at your advert. That's coming...That's where I think the market is going to end up eventually…

“We as Amscreen and others, we need to start educating advertisers and others who are selling. They are stuck in a rut of selling two week ad blocks…Effectively I could even sell you 5 minute slots. But we need a big change in the way we sell space; we need to sell in a different manner...”

So the largest, fastest-growing outdoor network in Europe wants to change the way outdoor digital signage is bought and sold. Or to put it in the words made famous by the star of the show The Apprentice: Lord Sugar to DOOH ad buyers: You’re Fired.

Watch Lord Sugar and Digital Signage