LONDON — Amscreen, Sir Alan Sugar’s new digital signage company, has been appointed by BP’s U.K. retail business as its exclusive digital signage partner following an extensive procurement process for the contract. The selection of Amscreen for the five-year contract follows comprehensive trials in BP forecourts over the last two years, incorporating both technical and consumer research testing.
Sir Alan Sugar is the “boss” in the British version of the Apprentice TV series.
Initially, Amscreen’s close proximity-signage units will be installed in BP’s 335 company-owned sites from spring 2009, with the concept being offered to BP’s 800 dealer partners towards the end of the year. The screens will carry customer information such as live traffic updates, which proved a huge success during the customer trials, as well as advertising for BP products and services. In addition, the network will carry messages from national and regional advertisers eager to reach the seven million motorists who use BP forecourts in the U.K. each week.
The launch of the Amscreen network comes at a time when the digital out-of-home market is buoyant, with the size of market ever-growing and expected to quadruple to a worth of Â£248 million by 2012. The network will be utilizing Amscreen’s bespoke ‘plug and play’ technology, which allows screen content to be remotely updated without the need for any extra cabling or IT input, on site.
Amscreen is run by CEO Simon Sugar, former commercial director of Amstrad, with Sir Alan Sugar as chairman. The BP negotiations were led by Simon Sugar and development director Lee McQueen, winner of TV series The Apprentice.
“We’re delighted to announce this deal with BP and to be rolling out the Amscreen network throughout their stores,” said Simon Sugar. “We believe that our ‘plug and play’ system utilizes the most practical and scalable solutions available and that our manufacturing experience, combined with our unique end-to-end wireless technology, delivers a low-cost digital solution of the highest quality. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with BP”
“We are excited to announce the roll-out of the Amscreen network in our stores,” said Richard Harding, U.K. Convenience retail director, for BP. We are continually looking for innovative ways to communicate to our customers. Amscreen’s products enable us to present relevant, useful and timely information in a highly engaging format. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the safety and efficiency of customers’ journeys for example by providing traffic updates whilst also sharing news of our great promotions, products and services.”