Sydney reopens outdoor call out

The City of Sydney is placing a callout for renewed expressions of interest for its $500m outdoor advertising and street furniture contract, which continues to focus in on digital and smart street furniture.

Council first opened up the tender in December last year, with a call for new digital street furniture to replace its existing inventory and the new contract to be awarded at around mid 2018.

In the past month, French giant JCDecaux bought APN Outdoor for $1.2bn and oOh!Media purchased Adshel for $570m. The ACCC is yet to approve either acquisition, with the ruling to be made on August 30.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says, “We’ve refined our contractual requirements following the first expressions of interest process which began in late 2017.

“This is because interested providers told us the market needed more time to respond to the complex nature of the contract and work on solutions to give residents, workers and visitors the best possible outcome.”

[Related: Outdoor print under threat in Sydney]

The renewed callout still places a focus on digitisation, seeking wi-fi enabled bus shelters, kiosks, benches, bins and toilets, to be installed when the existing agreement expires. Some bus shelters in Sydney have already replaced print advertising with digital signage, but it remains to be seen how much will be portioned to print in the new contract.

Around 2,500 pieces of street furniture will be included in the contract. JCDecaux has held it previously for around 20 years.

Moore says, “Outdoor advertising has experienced enormous growth over recent years as digital advertising has become more popular and offers greater opportunities.

“The new street furniture and outdoor advertising contract will change the way our city functions. It will bring new technology to our streets, deliver free internet to our devices and enable smart city platforms, changing the way our residents, workers and visitors interact with our city.

“We want to make sure no one is left behind in this shift to a digital future, so we’re to looking local and international providers with new ideas to deliver us fast and free public wi-fi and the best possible smart, furniture.

“Our street furniture and outdoor advertising contract is one of the largest of its kind in Australia, we need to find the right service provider to give our residents, workers and visitors the free wi-fi connection and smart, well-designed street furniture a global city deserves.”

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