Altair Media nabs ex Publicis TV specialist to launch new TV offer

Phil Bowman Altair Media

Award winning Independent digitally-led media agency, Altair has appointed Phil Bowman as AV Director to head up its new TV department. 

Bowman comes to the role from Publicis owned Spark Foundry where he was senior group trading director.

Altair enters TV market

Bowman’s arrival marks Altair’s formal entry into the TV market, with an offer tailored to brands who are new to TV or who feel poorly served by what’s currently available to them. 

It plans to bring the rigour that is characteristic of its approach to digital media planning and buying to TV and to disrupt traditional agency models and conventions.

“The art of planning in digital media has been all but lost in the face of black box methodologies that control optimisation”, Lyndsey Best, co-founder at Altair said. 

“We’ve constantly challenged that direction and now plan to bring the same craft approach that we take to digital, to TV, together with market-leading measurement capabilities.

“We’re serious about tearing up the rulebook and bringing an approach to TV advertising that delivers real impact for brands that are overlooked by the market.”

Altair’s decision to launch its TV/AV offer comes at a time when TV advertising has experienced wholesale change. 

Advertiser exodus

The exodus of many big TV advertisers since March 2020 has seen the platform become accessible to a new cohort of brands who are trialling it for the first time. 

The roadmap out of lockdown also signals a potential uplift as brands who left the platform look to make a splash and remind consumers that they exist. 

However, the unstoppable rise of streaming services means that linear TV is under pressure more than ever, even if there are encouraging signs such as the recent return of BBC3 as a broadcast channel.

Bowman said: “There has never been a more exciting time to launch a TV/AV offer to the market. 

“Disruption and upheaval such as we have seen over the last 12 months, always bring major opportunity and that’s why we believe there is scope to redefine how TV media planning and buying is done.

“Many brands are including TV in their ad plans for the first time. That includes a wide range of B2B brands who have seized the opportunity to target business customers working from home. 

“And in our newly health-obsessed society, healthcare brands are increasingly eyeing up TV. These new entrants to the market require a different kind of offer. 

“The trading approach that’s typical of many of the incumbents is unlikely to suit these first-time advertisers.”

Reinventing business models

Best added: “Many brands and organisations have had to reinvent their business models over the last year to survive. 

“Brands who are new to TV advertising, including culture, healthcare and B2B or those who feel poorly served by traditional agency models is the gap in the market that we have identified.

“The former need their first foray into TV to generate tangible business results. Both need an agile media planning and buying approach that will bring together TV with paid social, SEO and digital advertising for maximum effectiveness, and not a silo in sight!

“With intelligent planning and buying, TV can make an impact for clients with smaller budgets.

“We are making a major investment in TV, essentially creating a start-up within the agency that will develop into something that is truly new and disruptive. 

“In Phil we have someone who lives and breathes TV but also has the energy, passion and entrepreneurial spirit to bring our vision to life.”