15 Largest Outdoor Advertising Groups

October 9th, 2012 • By: Fred Kuhlman Market developments

The annual report from JCDecaux shows a clear overview of the 15 largest outdoor advertising groups, based on their 2011 revenues.

According to ZenithOptimedia total worldwide outdoor advertising spending was approximately €22,2 billion. The 15 largest companies have 40% share in total spending, which means that there are many companies with revenues less than €100 million.

The total worldwide advertising spending was estimated at €326 billion. This means that OOH has a share of 6,8% in the total spending.

Clear Channel strengthens position in the Netherlands

November 29th, 2011 • By: Fred Kuhlman Uncategorized

Outdoor Advertising operator Hillenaar Outdoor Advertising (a Clear Channel company) has taken over all outdoor objects of Brouwer & Partners (local Dutch company). Hillenaar now has reach in 250 citiesand is thus at once a key player in the out-of-home market. “We are very proud,” says director Jeroen Hillenaar. “The doubling of our number of panels makes us the largest operator in terms of reach and our Abri’s generate the highest contact frequency.”

The acquisition provides Hillenaar national coverage and can better meet the needs of advertisers. “In addition to our current presence in eg Amsterdam, The Hague, Emmen and Parkstad Limburg, we are now prominent in Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Zaanstad” explains Hillenaar.

According to data from MediaXim (gross advertising expenditure by the parties participating in the Outdoor Advertising Platform) market share is 17% of the new combination. In the market of bus shelters, the share is even greater.

The new combination achieves the Dutch market for the main segment, the shelters, a 21% market share. Thus, the company remains well behind CBS Outdoor and JCDecaux, but it will be an interesting proposition for media planners can offer. CBS Outdoor will remain strong through its exclusive relationship with NS and a wide rural area, JCDecaux is and remains the market leader through exclusive relationships with most major cities.

There are currently two key contracts that market shares do change (or unchanged): Amsterdam (very soon to clarify this) and Haaglanden (this tender is at present).

Amsterdam City Council has started tender for bus shelter contract

June 15th, 2011 • By: Fred Kuhlman Uncategorized

The long awaited and biggest tender in recent years on June 14 launched. It is expected that all major players show interest and will send in their offer for this important concession for the Dutch outdoor advertising market. Currently JCDecaux is the contract partner for the City of Amsterdam.

The party to whom the concession is warranted, given the right to operate in the municipality of Amsterdam to take care of all shelters and information panels. All A-sides of the Information Panels are reserved for municipal purposes, such as city maps or local campaigns, unless the municipality at a location of the B-side wants. Currently there are 1700 bus shelters and 500 Information Panels.

City marketing is part of this contract.

The Agreement has from the start operation (July 1, 2012) a term of 15 years with an option to extend the contract by five years.

The green case against digital billboards

January 21st, 2011 • By: Fred Kuhlman Uncategorized

This is reprint from, written by Barnaby Page.

While digital outdoor’s many critics in the U.S. have largely focused on traffic safety and light pollution, a Pennsylvania architect and urban planner has opened a new front, charging that digital sites consume vastly more energy than conventional billboards.

A paper from Gregory Young, available from the Scenic America pressure group and produced in collaboration with Philadelphia’s Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB), says that static billboards annually consume less energy than an average U.S. home – about 7000kWh for an advertising site and 11,000kWh for a household – but digital outdoor signs can require more than 40 times as much as their non-digital counterparts.

Among the worst performers are billboards from Eraled, ThinkSign and Optec, the report says, with one Optec unit eating 324,000kWh a year. The best performers include Barco and Lighthouse, with power consumption assessed by Young at 74,000kWh and 93,000kWh respectively.

“Out-of-home advertising is simply not an appropriate or responsible application for digital technology,” the report says. It dismisses the contention that digital billboards should gain green kudos because LEDs are more energy-efficient than the conventional light sources used to illuminate static billboards.

“These claims overlook one key bit of common sense: whereas traditional, static signage is illuminated by two or three ‘inefficient’ lamps at night time, digital signs are comprised of hundreds, if not thousands, of ‘green’ LED bulbs, each using 2-10W, lit 24 hours a day. For instance, a 14-by-48-foot LED billboard can have between 900 and 10,000 diodes,” the report says.

“Bulb-to-bulb comparisons are irrelevant in this context,” it concludes.

To exacerbate matters, says Young, digital billboards are frequently operated at higher brightness levels than necessary. He notes that when digital-signage technology supplier Noventri experimented with running displays at half-brightness, it reduced power consumption by nearly 40 percent without sacrificing readability.

But it is not only lighting that attracts Young’s scepticism. He notes that digital billboards also draw power for their cooling systems, especially during periods of hot weather, when they add to the already onerous load on the power grid imposed by buildings’ air conditioning.

He quotes a suggestion that digital billboards will need to be replaced roughly every 11 years, as opposed to 15 years for static billboards, and says that when defunct they generate more waste, although he acknowledges that digital units “lack the potentially toxic adhesives” used in static signs.

What’s to be done?

Timing his report to coincide with a major revamp of Philadelphia’s zoning rules, Young does not propose an all-out ban similar to those that have been enacted in cities such as Denver and Dallas, but calls for tight restrictions on light levels and hours of operation.

He begins by advising that the zoning rules should “include any and all digital signage, defined as any sign capable of displaying words, symbols, figures or images that can be electronically or mechanically changed by remote or automatic means, not just those that are animated, flashing, or intermittent, which can be subjective descriptions”.

Among his prescriptions for acceptable operation are that “the illumination projected from any [sign] shall at no time exceed 0.1 foot-candle onto a residential [site], and 1.0 foot-candle onto a non-residential [site]. This should apply to light emitted from any form of signage, on-premise or off-premise. We also propose specific luminance limits of 100 nits for night-time conditions, applicable to all digital signage.”

Further, suggests Young, “off-premises digital signs [should] be extinguished automatically no later than 11pm each evening until dawn. Signs for establishments that operate or remain open past 11pm [should] remain on no later than one half hour past the close of the establishment.”

Draconian requirements, perhaps, but what’s unusual about Young’s contribution to the debate over digital billboards is that he scarcely mentions the generalised concept of visual blight; deals in quantifiables; and proposes restrictions that seem achievable, albeit undesirable for media owners, rather than refusing to settle for anything short of an outright prohibition. The shape of Philadelphia’s rewritten zoning code will show whether that approach is persuasive to the planners.

Oh no they don’t

Meanwhile, one digital-billboard vendor was quick to respond to the publicity received by Young’s report. Yesco Electronics says its units require just a quarter of the power they used six years ago, and that consumption is continuing to drop.

Yesco even says that at night its billboards use less power than “most traditionally-illuminated billboards”.

“We have seen a steady decrease in power requirements year over year, and expect the trend to continue,” said VP and general manager Rod Wardle. “In 2011, we anticipate another year-over-year decrease of 25 percent in power consumption.

“Rapid improvements in efficiency make yesterday’s power-consumption data out-of-date,” he added in an apparent reference to Young’s paper.

The future of outdoor

October 5th, 2010 • By: Fred Kuhlman Uncategorized

This article is a reprint from Mediaweek, author: Stephen Armstrong


Posters that can recognise your face and live video streaming on car windows are just two of the technologies transforming out-of-home into the most targeted advertising medium in town.

If you’re working in the out-of-home industry it can feel a bit as though all the other media are getting the fun new tech stuff – 3D interactive TV, smartphone apps or, indeed, anything Steve Jobs turns his poloneck-supported mind to.

So it has been something of a relief to outdoor practitioners that the Israeli defence industry moves its new gadgets from the military to the commercial sector every now and then.

Take face recognition software, for instance – originally designed to identify terror suspects, it has been creeping into digital posters, initially as a research tool but with the potential to create almost individually targeted creative work.

And face recognition is just the tip of the new tech iceberg when it comes to outdoor innovation – live video, augmented reality, live tweeting, interactive gaming and 3D posters are all rolling out across the high street and the shopping malls. There is even an iPhone opportunity.

“Advertising is increasingly about the personal – interactive TV, online tailored messages – and outdoor is traditionally a broadcast medium,” explains Ivan Clark, independent outdoor specialist and blogger.

“What you’re seeing with these new technologies – although they won’t hit the mainstream for a while – is the chance for outdoor to become as tailored as almost any other medium.”

Clark points to a campaign for Becks that Starcom booked in niche, hip districts of London like Hoxton and Brixton (see gallery). Passers-by could plug their iPod into the intelligent digital screens, and software developed by Outsideline produced an artwork in response to the music, which was then sent to Twitter and Flickr sites where the image could be downloaded.

Becks-1Over two weeks, there were 10,000 interactions with the digital posters, 2,500 people accessed the Flickr images and Shoreditch scenesters were even forming queues to use the posters outside some sites.

Pip Hainsworth, marketing director for Clear Channel in the UK, was struck by an election campaign in support of the Conservative Party – galvanised by a group of volunteers led by Engine and WCRS president Robin Wight – where Twitter comments were fed live onto LED screens for minute-by-minute commentary on the issues of the day.


Another groundbreaking piece of advertising was the world’s first 3D outdoor campaign from Twentieth Century Fox for the film Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, where a bespoke trailer ran on 42″ HD screens installed in bus shelters on Oxford Street and in Kensington.

Cameron Saunders, UK marketing director for the theatrical division of Twentieth Century Fox, says: “In the past 18 months, digital outdoor has moved on in leaps and bounds. In a world where consumers are being bombarded with competing messages, this is something no-one could fail to be absorbed by.”

Never forget a face

Hainsworth is currently expanding on recent research using face recognition technology, run jointly with Kinetic. The first run of the research – conducted earlier this year – placed cameras behind posters in the Westfield Royal Victoria Place shopping mall in Tunbridge Wells and measured how often consumers checked out the poster, what age and sex they were and what mood they were in, based on how happy or sad they looked.

The study found that shoppers were more relaxed – and thus more disposed to view advertising – at the weekend. The highest levels of eye-contact took place on Sunday lunchtime, while the group most likely to check the poster out were younger passers-by and women.

“This was a research project, but it could lead to a change in creative execution,” says Kinetic’s global marketing director Nick Mawditt. “We have the software and the connections to enable us to change execution centrally very quickly.

“It is theoretically possible to spot crowd changes – for example greater numbers of women or teenagers – and instantly alter your creative as a result. You can certainly already change executions according to daypart and consumer mood, which means highly responsive advertising.”

In other words, digital posters could soon be able to change to suit your tastes. The poster might be able to alter its shape or size to draw you in, it could feature holographic imagery, or you might be able to browse a drop-down menu on the side of the screen and send details such as a money-off coupon to your Facebook account.

And in the rare instance where passers-by aren’t attracted to the poster, the digital cameras that measure footfall and dwell-time minute by minute can simply change copy at the flick of a switch.

Matching media to mood

Over in Israel, where face-recognition began, Dani Zeevi, co-founder and chief executive of YCD Multimedia is already going further. The company offers services ranging from tracking to creative solutions that follow consumers from outside the store to point-of-sale.

In fast-food joints, for instance, cameras track queues of consumers and software matches daypart to mood and menu, so digital screens offering price and choice can change almost minute by minute.

“Retailers want to keep queues down and customers happy,” Zeevi explains. “Our algorithms allow them to offer the most popular items at the right time with changes in price according to offers and mood.

“We’ve worked with Toyota, Wimpy and fashion chains to cover the link from brand advertising to the till. The UK is lagging a little behind other parts of the world, but as the recession ends we can see that changing.”

Some, however, believe it’s not just the recession that’s keeping the industry cautious. James Davies, director of Posterscope’s future-facing division Hyperspace, says: “There are so many technological developments that can be applied to OOH campaigns and these are evolving so quickly it’s difficult for media owners to make investment choices with confidence.

“Also, clients often want technology applied to locations of their choice, as opposed to those that have been predetermined by media owners.”

Davies recently collaborated with digital agency Profero on the launch of the new Mini Countryman (see gallery), where video footage of passers-by was projected onto the inside of the car, as if they were squeezed inside the vehicle, and the results shared on Facebook.

He is also enthusiastic about new applications from areas such as architecture and public art. For example, he cites the “emotional cities” art project where buildings are lit in different colours depending on the “mood of the city”, as measured by prevailing online activity, and the Tesla coils used to create artificial lightning bolts at Glastonbury.

However, he warns: “It’s easy to get carried away with what’s technically possible, but agencies should always ensure the consumer is the core consideration. For example, one of the reasons that QR codes – barcodes that when photographed open a mobile website – didn’t become mainstream years ago is that most campaigns didn’t include a suitable consumer education element. Indoor or outdoor, you have to start with the consumer.”

Out there’ outdoor: five next-generation advertising formats

Augmented reality screens embedded into poster sites, as offered by JCDecaux.

An augmented outdoor mobile app that overlays hidden content and reward onto poster sites when viewed through a camera phone, as offered by Posterscope and The Cloud and Compass.

Moderated live streaming from Twitter and Facebook to OOH screens (campaign for AT&T in location and Facebook page below), as offered by LocaModa (based in the US).

Clic2C technology, as demonstrated by CBS Outdoor, that allows any printed poster to become interactive by opening a free phone application that works on most handsets including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia. By pointing the phone’s camera at the poster, consumers are automatically linked to a mobile website.

Magic Mirror screens in-store that allow shoppers to see what they would look like ‘wearing’ various items of clothing from the rack, reducing changing-room space and time, as offered by C-InStore.