Colleagues are paying tribute to Ian Woods, a veteran of the advertising, publishing and away from home industry, who is calling it a day after nearly five decades in media.

Mr Woods, 66, is retiring as Commercial Manager at Australia’s largest away from home company, oOh! Media, after 14 years.

He was previously head of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Australia (OAAA), the predecessor of the Outdoor Media Association (OMA).

Mr Woods’ media career began in sales and marketing with Queensland Newspapers in 1966. He moved to Sydney three years later, where he has spent most of his career and still lives.

Stints followed in senior positions with Southbound Press, Cumberland Newspapers Queensland, magazine importers and exporters NDD and specialist titles owners Yaffa Publishing.

Mr Woods was publisher of AdNews for 10 years and worked for a short time at Shaker Hamilton and Brown advertising agency in Queensland before returning to Sydney for family reasons.

He headed and successfully restructured the OAAA before CEO of oOh!, Brendon Cook, asked him to join his then small but fast-growing away from home company.

“I accepted Brendon’s offer because even back then it was evident that there was a great relationship between oOh! and the people who worked for it,” Mr Woods said.

“That relationship made people want oOh! to be successful – to the point that it’s not only now the largest away from home company in Australia but also the most innovative.

“We were the first company to take things beyond just billboards and integrate other forms of Out Of Home media into what we now refer to as Away From Home.

“With traditional forms of media fragmenting, the things we’re doing in digital present us and our advertisers with massive opportunities.”

CEO Brendon Cook said Mr Woods had been a pivotal figure in oOh!’s growth to a position of market leadership.

“Ian’s experience and commercial acumen has made a massive contribution, not only to oOh! but the entire away from home and media industries,” Mr Cook said.

“Most recently, he was instrumental in securing and developing one of the most prestigious advertising sites in the country, the Bridgepoint pedestrian bridge at Mosman.”

Mr Woods said while development of the Mosman site had been a decade-long process, it had been extremely rewarding in delivering mutual benefit to the advertisers, council and the Mosman community.

Mr Woods will wind up at the end of the month.

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