DIARY: JCDecaux's super-loo shows how explosive outdoor media can be

The outdoor industry has always been at the forefront of media innovation: talking posters; scented bus shelters (fragrant not urine scented, that is); LED six-sheets; the list goes on.

The outdoor media owners deserve credit for consistently investing enormous amounts of time and money in developing new formats in order for the medium to achieve that golden 10 per cent share of adspend.

However, they gripe that despite their efforts, the creatives don't look beyond the 48-sheet to see what else is available. Worse, that they fail to take much interest in all the developments in the medium.

So could it have been a coincidence that JCDecaux chose to showcase all of its most recent innovations (interactive bus shelter posters, clever "day and night" printing technology, etc) in the same week as one of its Automated Public Conveniences - or superloos - blew up spectacularly? (Well, yes, it can actually.)

Police were called to Hanley town centre, Stoke-on-Trent after residents reported an explosion in the early hours. They rushed to the scene and found that the roof of the JCDecaux superloo had been torn off and that smoke was billowing out of it.

Sadly it had nothing to do with the JCDecaux Innovate showcase. The explosion was apparently caused by an electrical fault in the high voltage cables that ran underneath the toilet. The fault led to a power surge into the loo (which was vacant), blowing its roof off and lifting the pavement.

Nearby traffic lights were also affected.

It seems a shame that JCDecaux is not choosing to roll out these exploding loos across the country. Surely even the laziest creative could see that Imodium would be a good fit.


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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).