QMS confirms 10-year contract with City of Sydney

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 30 June 2020

QMS Media has confirmed winning the City of Sydney outdoor advertising contract from incumbent JCDecaux, signing a 10-year agreement with the council.

AdNews revealed the outdoor media company had secured the contract last month but the business was unable to share details at the time.

The long-term agreement incorporates the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of what will be a predominantly digital advertising landscape, creating a dynamic Sydney CBD media channel.

QMS Group CEO Barclay Nettlefold says QMS was honoured to win the coveted City of Sydney contract.

“The City of Sydney Street Furniture contract is universally recognised as the jewel in the crown of Australia’s OOH industry. QMS is proud to be recognised for our credentials, capabilities and people in securing this contract," Nettlefold says.

"We thank our new owners, Quadrant Private Equity, who have been very supportive in enabling QMS to submit a compelling proposition that will facilitate the development of an exciting new premium advertising landscape.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the new suite of furniture equipped with predominantly digital panels would support the City’s post-COVID recovery and refresh the city centre streets.

“The new suite of furniture will help modernise our streets while also providing significant revenue to the City, which will help us maintain high quality services and public spaces for our residents, businesses and visitors,” the Lord Mayor says.

“This deal means we will have the capability to display real-time event, transport and emergency information on modern, sustainably designed and energy-efficient street furniture.”

Nettlefold says that it is a significant win for the OOH company.

“This is a game changer, not only for QMS but for the broader OOH industry," he says.

"The scale of such an opportunity does not come along often.”

QMS will develop a new Sydney based operations hub to support installation, maintenance, cleaning and repair with a dedicated operations and maintenance crew to service the new Street Furniture contract.

The new contract will see QMS begin the inventory rollout in the second half of 2021.

Prior to this, there will be expansion of the business with more than 40 new appointments reflected across all key business functions as part of the commitment to outstanding service delivery for the City Of Sydney.

JCDecaux ANZ CEO Steve O'Connor said in a statement the company was "disappointed" to not retain the contract but it will still have presence in the City of Sydney with its Telstra payphone contract.

"The City of Sydney was JCDecaux’s foundational contract in Australia, and we have since built a tremendous business here and in New Zealand.

"In 1997 we partnered with the City to pioneer advertiser-funded street furniture in Australia, replacing run-down bus shelters, kiosks and benches with architecturally-designed quality infrastructure that is still relevant today – it is now part of the fabric of the City. For over 20 years, JCDecaux has cleaned, repaired and maintained this infrastructure to an extremely high standard. We are proud of this shared history between our two organisations.

"While a meaningful contract, it is not of the same calibre as the one we entered into in 1997. Irrespective of the result of the tender, JCDecaux will maintain a significant presence in the City of Sydney into the future due to its payphone contract with Telstra. The payphones populate Sydney’s most premium locations, while large swathes of bus shelters on highly trafficked city streets have been removed through the installation and operation of the light rail.

"Commuters and advertisers can rest assured that for JCDecaux it will be business as usual until at least 31 January 2021, and possibly longer. We will continue to provide these services with total professionalism and dedication until required. Further, we will continue our long standing relationships with the many cultural institutions we support here.

"JCDecaux has big plans for the future. We’re more committed than ever to our vision: to be the unrivalled out-of-home leader in Australia and New Zealand, delivering exceptional experiences to brands, partners and our people."

The announcement follows a lengthy selection process for the contract which had been out to tender since 2017.

Last year, the City of Sydney nearly scrapped the tender altogether due to the lack of competition and "fresh tenders" available in the sector.

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