The City of Sydney will call for renewed expressions of interest (EOI) from Tuesday for one of the most sought after outdoor advertising contracts in Australia.
The council is refining its requirements as part of the second expressions of interest process and is seeking an experienced service provider to deliver new street furniture, outdoor advertising assets and free public WiFi to Sydney city’s millions of daily visitors.
The City of Sydney first called for EOI in December last year, with the closing date originally scheduled in February.
It was speculated at the time that incumbent JCDecaux was making a joint play for the contract with Telstra, which is estimated to be worth $500 million.
However, there’s been much movement in the outdoor media industry since then, with JCDecaux entering a deal to acquire rival APN Outdoor, and oOh!media doing the same with Here, There & Everywhere’s Adshel.
The City of Sydney’s existing street furniture contract has been in place since 1998 and is due to expire in 2019.
More than 2,500 pieces of street furniture, including bus shelters, kiosks, public toilets, seats, litter bins, communications panels and more, will be included in the new contract.
A portion of advertising on street furniture items will be reserved for cultural events that support the arts and encourage people to take part in local creative endeavours.
To minimise disruption to the community, the existing street furniture items will be progressively removed and replaced with new items from 2019.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the council refined its contractual requirements following the first EOI process because interested providers said the market needed more time to respond to the complex nature of the contract and work on solutions to deliver the best possible outcome.
“Outdoor advertising has experienced enormous growth over recent years as digital advertising has become more popular and offers greater opportunities,” she said.
“This is an enormous opportunity for an experienced operator to have unrivalled coverage in the Sydney CBD and for our residents, businesses and visitors to benefit as a result of the advertising revenue.
“We’re looking for modern, sustainable and attractive street furniture that is functional and blends in seamlessly with our urban environment.
Moore said the City of Sydney could eventually see real-time emergency, event and transport information displayed on bus shelters.
“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 WiFi and the best possible smart, furniture,” she said.