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Digital billboards helped recover over 220 missing people

This article was first published on thedrum.com on 5th November.  


The Outdoor Media Centre and charity 'Missing People' have reported that a digital billboard ad operation has helped recover 220 missing people in the UK.

The scheme, which is backed by Kate McCann - mother of missing child Madeline - regularly publicises the name and images of missing people free of charge. The Outdoor Media Centre fills space donated by Outdoor companies including Exterion Media, Outdoor Plus, JCDecaux and Eye Airports, with the appeals. 

The ads are broadcast directly to the location where the individual originally went missing. Creative for the campaign, and the use of OpenLoop, a campaign management platform, was donated by Grand Visual.

Kate McCann said: “When your child is missing, you want the whole world to stop and join the search. Thanks to the Outdoor Media Centre and its members, so many families missing a loved one have benefited from this unique opportunity to appeal for them.

“This milestone is a special moment and one the industry should feel very proud of.”

Bill Wilson, operations director at the Outdoor Media Centre, added: “We are very happy to have been able to support such a worthwhile initiative, which continues to have such a great impact on so many lives.

“As an industry, we look forward to reaching countless more milestones in the future.”

The partnership will now also integrate child rescue alerts, which are broadcast when a child is taken and their life is believed to be in danger.

In September, Mike Baker, the chief executive of the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) claimed that outdoor advertising can be used as a force for social good having improved its standing as a communications platform in recent years.