MediaCo claims OOH first
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Large-format and out-of-home (OOH) specialist MediaCo has unveiled what it believes is the first fully recycled paper for high-quality outdoor advertising applications.
The Manchester-based large-format print group developed the substrate in partnership with OOH media agency Posterscope and an undisclosed European paper mill.
The project was born from a number of Posterscope clients requesting the use of recycled grades in their campaigns, which led the agency to approach MediaCo to investigate the possibilities.
Posterscope group innovation director Claire Kimber said that much of the industry would likely assume that recycled products were already available for OOH projects, but this was not the case.
“[So,] this development represents an enormous step-change for the out of home industry, in response to demand from advertisers to help meet their social and environmental goals,” she said.
Research and development was driven by MediaCo Group’s MediaCo Production business, which is headed by managing director Paul Honey.
The new 100% ultra-white recycled material, which is manufactured to MediaCo’s detailed specifications and is currently only available for its clients, is a lightweight grade, 135gsm, developed for four- and six-sheet applications
“It’s taken quite a long time and a lot of R&D by us to find a paper that is useable outdoor because six sheets are largely backlit, and the challenge with any recycled product is that it’s grainy in appearance when backlit or washed out and doesn’t hold colour terribly well,” said Honey.
“So, what we have done is overcome the challenge of making a paper that is useable, workable, super light and can be used in all six sheet environments: Internal, external, backlit and front lit.”
According to Honey, the new recycled product more than matches the performance of standard materials with none of the traditional drawbacks of recycled products such as aggressive processing.
It’s formed using recovered deinked and pulped fibres that offer the required brightness without the need for chlorine.
The fully recyclable material is manufactured to standards including FSC, ISO 9001, ISO 14001and Nordic Swan and can be printed digitally or litho.
Honey said that the firm began investigating the possibility of offering a recycled grade last year following an increasing level of enquiries from clients including Posterscope.
“I’m sure over time it will become almost standard, but I don’t think anyone else is doing this now, so there’s a lot of interest,” he said.
Circa 100-plus staff MediaCo offers a full range of wide-format services at its Trafford Park factory, from outdoor, events, exhibition, instore, wall coverings, building, hoardings and vehicle graphics.
Like many wide-format businesses, since last March it has added Covid-related graphics and products to its offering.
It has a wide range of equipment in its digital battery including three 5m-wide EFI machines, two Vutek 5R roll-to-roll printers and a Vutek FabriVU 520 dye sub, the first in the UK, and a year ago it installed a new HP Latex 3600.