Robert Ray joins out-of-home audience research body Route as CEO

Today we’re delighted to announce the appointment of Robert Ray as CEO. Robert, formerly MD of PHD’s Global Strategy Unit, marketing director at The Newspaper society and MD of Starcom Worldwide, as well as founder and CEO of conduit5 Consultancy, will use his extensive experience in advising some of the world’s largest advertisers and marketing for the UK’s media industry to continue developing Route’s offer.

The decision to appoint Robert was led by Katherine Almond, chair of Route, Justin Cochrane, chair of Outsmart, the marketing body for OOH media and Chris Daines, chair of the IPAO, the IPA’s group of Out of Home specialists.

Route produces audience estimates for out-of-home advertising in Britain, informing subscribers how many and what demographics see an advertising campaign, and how often they do so. The information is used as the currency for planning, trading and valuing advertising investment in the medium. In March, Route unveiled its newly-evolved digital-led currency which offers spot level audience measurement at 15-minute levels for ads played out on each and any poster or screen.

Formally starting his new position as CEO on June 1st, Robert replaces James Whitmore, the MD of Route since 2005, who announced his plan to step down earlier this year due to health reasons.

Speaking about the appointment, Robert Ray said; “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the team at Route and working collaboratively with the JIC board. Route is a world-class approach to validating audiences in both traditional and dynamic digital OOH. The OOH industry continues to evolve at a phenomenal pace and I’m honoured to be part of the future development of credible, trustworthy and insightful JIC audience measurement.”

Katherine Almond, Chair of Route, said: “James has done an outstanding job developing Route into the world-leading audience measurement system that it is, and we are delighted to have secured someone of Robert’s calibre to lead the team into the next phase of Route’s development. Robert’s experience in media agencies, the Newspaper Society and JICREG, along with his industry standing, will be very valuable to us”

Justin Cochrane, Chair of Outsmart, the marketing body for OOH media, said:  “It’s great to have someone with Robert’s experience and infectious enthusiasm joining Route. He’ll be an excellent addition to both Route and Out of Home more generally.”

Chris Daines, Chair of the IPAO, said,  “Route has recently delivered a significant shift in the way that we are able to understand the movement of people in the UK and how we apply that to deliver sophisticated and valuable campaigns for clients. James has clearly contributed a huge amount to Route and will be missed enormously. Looking to the future it is fantastic that Robert will be joining Route with his impressive, multi-faceted experience across agencies and industry bodies. We look forward to working with him to help shape the future of audience measurement in out-of-home.”

Route is underwritten by the industry, including specialist media agencies, Kinetic Worldwide, Mediacom Outdoor, Posterscope, Rapport Worldwide and Talon Outdoor. The media owner guarantors are Clear Channel Outdoor, JCDecaux and Global.

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