Britons Gird Loins for Washroom Video Ads

07 August 2003

Nothing new about ads in loos, johns, WCs, lavatories, comfort stations, conveniences, cloakrooms, thunderboxes, facilities, powder rooms, urinals, privies, latrines, outhouses, earth closets, jakes, pissoirs, kharzies, lavvies, thrones, dunnies or – for the archeologically inclined among WAMN readers – garderobes.

As all users of public facilities know, ads these days penetrate even these blest havens of relief.

But now a brand new wheeze from UK washroom supplies specialist Warner Howard Group, whose contributions to the comfort of humanity include the installation of 150,000 warm-air hand driers in airports, rail stations, shops, restaurants and nightclubs across Albion’s sceptr’d isle.

WH, cognizant of the fact that sixty-six per cent of all Britons annually stand killing time at their machines, hands supplicant within the hot-air blast, has acquired (for a mere £100,000 plus royalties) Captive View, a UK pioneer of in-toilet, internet-linked videoscreens.

Now Warner Howard [no relation to Warner Bros] proudly presents Washroom Media Network, a broadcaster of music videos, film clips and ads. “We have about forty million people a year using our hand driers and they are a captive audience for full videos, advertising, animation and messages,” enthuses WH ceo Stewart Cantly.

The company is installing an initial tranche of 500 internet-linked driers and aims to build a network reaching a potential 1m people a week within six months. The ratecard will be based on a per-view fee, although it is uncertain whether media buyers will be aflush with enthusiasm for the new medium.

According to billboard and ambient media consultancy Outdoor Connection, digital advertising hoardings, screens and interactive services accounted for just £7.7 million ($12.43m; €10.92m) or 1.1% of UK outdoor adspend last year. Such revenues had yet to match the new medium’s “undoubted vibrancy in terms of media opportunity and technical possibility”.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff