Many retailers will have been contacted by a new outfit called Channelcom, which is billing itself as the UK’s first advertising management company. Channelcom has been conducting what director Robin Gadsby described to me as a ‘stealth recruitment campaign’, which means the company has written to thousands of retailers to sign them up. The official launch will come later.

The company is offering to sell poster space in retailers’ stores to those rich, fast-moving consumer goods (fmcg) companies (think Coca-Cola, Walkers and The Sun).

Channelcom has asked retailers for £9.99 upfront  for a membership and administration fee, which prompted several people to ring and ask whether Channelcom is bona fide.

Well, as Barrie Loveland in North Wales put it: “I’ve got a few bare walls and I’m in the position of losing the post office, so I worked out that 

I could earn £6,000 a year with the space I’ve got. Ten pounds isn’t a big risk.”

Quite so. It sounds like a fairly sound idea to me. In the past when an fmcg company wanted to do a push on, say, the Granada region, it would hire a hit team which would pick up samples (new choc bars, for example) from the cash & carry and then deliver them with point of sale material to shops in the area, throwing in a spot of merchandising. So selling advertising space could work if someone offered a choice of strategic sites in the region to back the launch.

Channelcom reckons that a typical c-store could earn £200 every fortnight by displaying a variety of posters inside and outside. I would add, however, that ‘location, location, location’ is probably crucial to achieving this in terms of take-up.

What’s involved is also a simple piece of print, unlike the various digital ‘solutions’ being pursued by other companies.