JCDecaux Scores Big In Chicago

This week JCDecaux SA announced that it won a new 20-year contract with the City of Chicago in joint venture with Interstate Outdoor Advertising and its sister company, Foster Interstate. The contract calls for JCDecaux and its partners to build and operate 34 large digital billboards and 60 LED display panels along Chicago’s busy expressways. The global outdoor advertising company says the contract will generate around $700 million in advertising revenues over this period, making it one of the biggest municipal outdoor ad programs in the U.S.

The largest signs will measure 1,200 square feet, according to JCDecaux. The company claims that the Chicago City Digital Network, as it is known, will be the first public-private partnership formed to build out a digital out-of-home network on public land. Like digital billboard networks in other big cities, in addition to advertising the signage may be used to broadcast important emergency information as well as weather and traffic updates.

While the French outdoor giant is expanding its presence in the U.S., one of America’s leading outdoor companies is shrinking its footprint overseas. As reported earlier this week, CBS Outdoor is planning to divest its European and Asian outdoor advertising networks as part of a larger corporate restructuring. According to the company, its European businesses include assets that represent around 50% of the overall outdoor market in the Netherlands, 23% of the outdoor market in the U.K., and 15% of the outdoor market in Italy, as well as 32% of the large-format roadside signage in France.

CBS Outdoor also controls substantial outdoor advertising assets in Canada, Mexico, and South America, which are not included in the divestiture.

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