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Ocean Outdoor announces major developments

The DOOH company has announced a new CEO and expansions into Wales

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[L to R] Stephen Joseph and Tim Bleakley from Ocean Outdoor Group

Ocean Outdoor, a provider of out-of-home (OOH) and digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising has appointed Stephen Joseph as the group’s chief executive officer as well as announcing a host of new openings and expansions.

Joseph is currently Ocean’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer and will take over the role as group chief executive officer from January 1st, 2025, taking over from Tim Bleakley who will become chairman of Ocean’s Board of Directors as part of a long-planned succession process.

Having joined Ocean in 2009, Joseph has helped guide the company to where it is today. Bleakley comments: “It has been a privilege to lead the Ocean team over the last 14 years, and I am incredibly proud of the tremendous progress that Stephen, the team, and I have achieved together, including becoming a world-recognised brand with best-in-class technology and premium locations in key markets.

“As we enter the next stage of our journey, now is the right time for a transition of leadership. Stephen is a proven leader with deep expertise in the outdoor advertising business, and he is the right person to lead Ocean in the company’s next phase of growth. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Stephen and the Board to ensure a seamless transition and execute our ambitious plans.”

Recently the company has announced a number of expansions including expanding its portfolio into Wales with a supersized DOOH screen in a prime position leading to Cardiff city centre. Many Welsh DOOH locations are currently managed by Route Media, a company that is a part of Dragon Group.


Ocean UK chief executive, Phil Hall says: “Our first Welsh location allows brands to connect with the city's burgeoning population of young professionals, families, students and commuters. With Cardiff set to become one of the fastest growing cities over the next two decades, the opportunities for advertisers to connect with citizens and visitors are significant.” 

The screen is Ocean’s first Welsh location and its XL Network fleet of 24 connected DOOH roadside screens which are at least 1.5 times larger than a standard 48-sheet. 

Located on Leckwith Road, the screen is adjacent to Cardiff City Football Club and is in close proximity to the Capital Shopping Centre. 

Today Ocean Outdoor is celebrating the opening of BFI IMAX 25 years ago on June 11th, 1999, by the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III.

Ocean Outdoor was awarded the first BFI IMAX contract 18 years ago and has been the sole incumbent to date, retaining the rights after a competitive pitch in 2022.

The BFI IMAX is Europe’s largest OOH canvas, measuring 1,734m2 and attracts around 3.2m impacts a week, according to ROUTE. 


Lisa Rowe, BFI director of strategic projects, says: “The Ocean team has worked to protect our asset and maintain our reputation and ethos, whilst maximising returns so that that BFI can continue to invest in its role as a charitable organisation to promote and preserve filmmaking and television in the UK.”

The relationship with the BFI and the expansion into Wales demonstrates the company’s ambitions, which like many OOH companies reflects the strong relationships with partners and the community needed for OOH and DOOH to thrive.

Speaking about Ocean’s innovation and progress, Ocean’s upcoming chief executive officer, Joseph, adds: “I am honoured to assume the Group chief executive role of Ocean, a company that has been synonymous with innovation and challenging the status quo, creating iconic and award-winning moments and campaigns in iconic locations through the art of outdoor. 

“Under Tim’s leadership, Ocean has grown and pushed boundaries across the media landscape. As we move into an exciting new chapter for Ocean, we will continue to evolve by drawing on the same ethos, creativity and culture that’s driven our success for so many years. I want to thank Tim for his outstanding leadership and friendship, and I look forward to continuing to work together in our new roles starting next year.”

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