Broker John East raised the money, valuing Adwalker at £13.5 million, and says the placing was heavily oversubscribed at 8p, the same price as at its OFEX launch last year but 33 per cent below its latest OFEX quote of 12p. The company, which lost £2.9 million in the 20 months to February, is now heading towards profits and is working to clinch several partnerships with groups such as WPP’s Poster Publicity, Vodafone and HSBC, to give the public access to their wares via Adwalker screens.
Originally devised by chief operations officer Keith Jordan, Adwalker screens (which are claimed to pay back their £2,500 cost in 17 days) do not simply advertise goods and services. They allow members of the public to order and pay for what is shown there and then (and so it helps if it is not raining and they are not in too much of a hurry).
A recent Adwalker campaign to persuade New Yorkers to test-drive Daimler Chrysler cars had an 80 per cent success rate. A deal with Siemens subsidiary PS New Media will give access to shopping centres.
Chief executive Simon Crisp, formerly with WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather advertising arm, is hopeful of gaining entry into premiership football and rugby grounds, including the new Wembley next year. He hopes to link Adwalker to the Rolling Stones’ proposed final tour of the USA.
Adwalker, whose revenues at present come solely from time-charging for the use of its screens, likes to refer to industry reports suggesting people have grown bored with conventional TV advertisements and pay diminishing attention to them.