Wide Eye Media
|Key people||Dermot Hanrahan|
Carlton Screen Advertising was established in 1996 when Carlton Communications purchased the cinema advertising company Cinema Media (formerly RSA), then owned by a venture capital company backed by Shroeders who had bought Rank Screen Advertising from the then beleaguered Rank Group and renamed it eponymously. The Rank Organisation, smarting from a disastrous deal to buy Mecca Bingo Halls, was forced to sell the family silver and first Rank Screen Advertising then Rank Films were sold off followed later by even their prized Odeon circuit itself.Shroeders did spectacularly well out of the deal to buy Rank Screen Advertising as they netted a multi-million pound profit in just 3 years.However the high purchase price and the increasingly onerous terms of business with the cinema exhibitors led to its eventual sale by ITV to Cineworld and Odeon.
Until its break-up in 2008, Carlton Screen Advertising was the largest cinema advertising company in the UK. A tough advertising climate in the mid-2000s saw it struggle to make a profit and it was sold on when ITV made the decision to focus on core assets.
Break-up and sale
The company's UK and Irish operations were separated in mid-2008, when Cineworld Group plc and Odeon Cinemas acquired a 65% majority stake in the UK operation. On 1 January 2009, this was rebranded as Digital Cinema Media.
The Irish operation remained as Carlton Screen Advertising, and continued to be wholly owned by ITV plc until May 2009, when it was acquired by Dermot Hanrahan. It continues to use the Carlton branding and on-screen ident.
On 6 March 2014, as part of a €2 million investment, Carlton rebranded themselves as Wide Eye Media, which uses digital technology instead of 35mm, which will be used in their 643 screens across Ireland
The ident for Carlton Screen Advertising was usually the first clip to play in a cinema, and consisted of the trademark Carlton star as a brand being put into flames for a few moments, before being removed and thrusted at the screen. Unlike Carlton's TV idents at the time, this was often considered frightening due to its loud, powerful sounds and visuals of flames. The closing ident at the end of the advertising reel would simply display the Carlton star with its flames fizzling out into smoke. Wide Eye Media features a journey through an eye before the slogan "See it. Hear it. Feel it." would appear.
The Carlton idents were also rather similar to a former cinema commercial for Levis Jeans produced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty which used the same branding imagery.