RailCorp out of home up for grabs

RailCorp out of home up for grabs

EXCLUSIVE: The soon-to-be dismantled RailCorp has invited seven providers to pitch for the management of all out of home (OOH) advertising on its property.

The providers invited to submit proposals were all respondents to a request for expressions of interest issued by RailCorp last year. All providers were formally invited on 24 April and all submission must be received by RailCorp by 10am on 7 June 2013.

Industry insiders told B&T that the providers invited to tender included APN, Adshel, JCDecaux, Ooh!Media and TorchMedia. None of the providers were willing to confirm that they had been invited to pitch. Several told B&T they were bound by confidentiality agreements not to comment thereby confirming their participation.

Given that seven providers had been invited, it’s hard to imagine any of the above-mentioned providers not being on the list.

The request for proposals comes as RailCorp’s agreement with APN Outdoor expires. RailCorp was unable to tell B&T whether its agreement with AdShell, which is listed on the public transport body’s website as also managing its OOH advertsing, was also due to expire.

Both APN Outdoor and AdShell have managed RailCorp’s inventory since 2006. Both companies are 50% owned by APN News and Media.

RailCorp’s network includes more than 2,200 billboards, posters, small format and digital screens across the network.

In a statement released to B&T, RailCorp said: “RailCorp’s new provider will be responsible for selling and maintaining our existing advertising asset base, plus funding and building any new proposed assets.”

According to the RailCorp 2011-12 annual report, RailCorp earned just over $10 million from advertising in that financial year. Presumably much of this would have been in the form of a fee paid by APN and Adshell for managing its out of home network. Whichever company (or companies) win this tender stands to earn significantly more than this amount.

RailCorp provides on average more than 1 million passenger journeys every week day.

The state-owned entity itself faces an uncertain future with the organisation soon to be split into two new entities – Sydney Trains and NSW Trains. Strategic management of NSW railways is now handled by the new integrated transport authority, Transport for NSW.

A spokesman for Transport for NSW was unable to confirm whether managing RailCorp’s advertising contracts would shift to that entity in the future.

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