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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-A little-known outdoor company's innovative computer software application could bring the industry's buying process into the 20th century and change the face of outdoor.

The system is called Mat Tech and is being marketed by Matthew Outdoor Advertising, an 11-year-old Bangor, Pa., company that last week introduced the customized software at the Traffic Audit Bureau's annual conference here.

For those advertisers and media buyers with access to Matthew's market inventory, Mat Tech offers the ability to select boards with the best reach and then "ride the boards," all from a desktop computer. Creative can then be generated and superimposed on boards in a video simulation, ending the need to visit board sites.

Matthew secured exclusive rights to use the software in U.S. regional markets, including the New York metro area, from International Outdoor Systems, London, where the system has been used for about three years. Matthew President-CEO James P. McAndrew said he believes "new categories are going to open up left and right for outdoor" as a result of the system. He offered no specifics, but conference attendees who had seen the Mat Tech demonstration applauded the elimination of the laborious mapping task. "Gone are the days of dots falling off the map," said Nancy Hale, supervisor for out-of-home media at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis.

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