City of Sydney calls for more pitches on $500m contract

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 9 July 2018

The City of Sydney is calling for renewed expressions of interest for its $500 million street furniture and outdoor advertising contract.

Perhaps not content with the first batch of expressions of interest (EOI) that arrived after its 2017 call out, combined with recent out of home landscape changes, it now wants more.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says it has “refined” contractual requirements following the first EOI as interested providers said they needed more time to respond to the complex nature of the contract.

In December last year the tender for the City of Sydney outdoor contract opened for the first time in 20 years – putting its long-time provider JCDecaux at risk of losing the lucrative deal.

Since then, the out of home industry has gone through dramatic upheaval with JCDecaux acquiring APN Outdoor for $1.2 billion and Ooh!Media buying Adshel for $570 million.

While subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the moves no doubt change the previous EOI submissions.

See: Agency leaders react to OOH acquisition spree

The current street furniture contracts expire in 2019 and new requirements being called for include free public Wi-Fi and new bus shelters, kiosks, seats, public toilets equipped with digital technology and more sustainable options – across more than 2,500 pieces of street furniture,

Today, Moore says it is simply “refining its requirements” as part of the second expressions of interest process in seeking an experienced service provider.

She says it is an opportunity for the right service provider to help define the future of Sydney’s street furniture and digital signage.

“Our street furniture and outdoor advertising contract is one of the largest of its kind in Australia,” Moore says.

“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.”

A portion of advertising on street furniture items will also be reserved for cultural events that support the arts and encourage people to take part in local creative endeavours.

Moore says the new street furniture and outdoor advertising contract will change the way the 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,” she says.

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

“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. “

Ultimately, she says it is looking for modern, sustainable and attractive street furniture that is functional and blends in seamlessly with the urban environment.

“Eventually, we could see real-time emergency, event and transport information displayed on bus shelters," Moore says.

We want to make sure no one is left behind in this shift to a digital future, so we’re open to looking at local and international providers with new ideas to deliver us fast and free public Wi-Fi and the best possible smart, furniture to minimise disruption to the community.”

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