Outdoor media company QMS has won the City of Sydney outdoor advertising and street furniture contract from incumbent JCDecaux.
A spokesperson from the City of Sydney told AdNews that negotiations were continuing but industry insiders say that QMS was selected prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We are still in negotiations and aim to make a recommendation to council over the coming months," a spokesperson from the City of Sydney told AdNews.
QMS and JCDecaux both declined to comment.
The contract is for the provision of street furniture, OOH and wi-fi services including the design, prototyping, supply, installation and ongoing operation of kiosks, toilets, shelters, communications pylons, seats and bins.
The contract, originally worth $500 million, has been out to tender since 2017 but decisions were slowed down by market conditions and the consolidation of the OOH sector.
Last year, the City of Sydney nearly scrapped the tender altogether due to the lack of competition and "fresh tenders" available in the sector.
JCDecaux, who has held the contract with the City of Sydney since 1998, announced at the start of last year that it would not make a formal proposal for the new contract. However, AdNews understands it did put in a new proposal.
Its current contract with the council is due to end next year but the French OOH giant will still have presence in the city after winning a contract to upgrade Telstra's payphone network.
The work on the payphone network has been an ongoing issue between the three parties, with JCDecaux wanting to grow its digital advertising footprint through a deal with the telco.
The City of Sydney, alongside the City of Melbourne and Brisbane, tried to block the move under the Telecommunication Act 1997, however the Federal Court has since ruled in Telstra and JCDecaux's favour.
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