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Big Screen Ads Coming to Shopping Malls

New York Times reports that a giant advertising company is teaming up with a giant property company for a venture that aims to help turn the shopping mall into a medium not unlike television, radio, newspapers or the Internet.

The Publicis Groupe, the world's fourth-largest advertising company, is joining forces with the Simon Property Group, the nation's largest owner of shopping malls, to start what is being called the 'OnSpot Digital Network.' The joint venture will sell commercial time on screens to be placed at or near the entrances, food courts, escalators and corridors of Simon malls across the country.

The network of screens has been tested since fall 2004 at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, carrying programs that are sponsored for the test by brands like Cingular Wireless, Coca-Cola, Garnier, Nintendo and Visa as well as retailers like A�ropostale, EB Games, Gap, PacSun and Subway. The Coca-Cola Company is among the marketers that have agreed to become regular sponsors of OnSpot.

Advertisers and agencies are buzzing about "the third screen," referring to the screens of cellphones, which many consumers now look at almost as much as they do TV or computer screens. The formation of OnSpot underlines the growing interest in what could be called the fourth screen, meaning all the screens that consumers see outside the home, in stadiums and arenas; the lobbies of movie theaters; public gathering places like Times Square, Piccadilly Circus or the Ginza; inside elevators in office buildings; and in airport terminals and train stations.

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