JCDecaux to handle Masterfoods' poster business in Europe

JCDecaux has won Masterfoods' pan-European outdoor advertising business for the next four years.

The deal spans advertising across the FMCG giant's three main divisions, which comprise its food, confectionery and petfood business. Brands involved include Mars, Twix, Snickers and Pedigree, Sheba and Whiskas.

The deal covers JCDecaux's outdoor network in 16 European countries, which includes 192,000 billboards across the continent. It will be reviewed after the initial four-year contract.

The Alban Group will co-ordinate site buying.

The outdoor sector has grown rapidly over the past year, with a 15.5 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2002 in the UK market. This increase contributed to full-year revenues of more than £690 million.

JCDecaux's partnership with Masterfoods reflects the growing significance of outdoor advertising, and the increasing use of pan-regional campaigns among FMCG advertisers.

Jean-Francois Decaux, the co-chief executive of JCDecaux, said: "JCDecaux's street furniture, billboard and transport network allows adver-tisers to deliver a cohesive campaign across Europe."

Angus McIntosh, the European media manager at Masterfoods, added: "Outdoor is increasingly important in our communication plans, and JCDecaux is an obvious choice for a strategic partner, giving us access to high-quality outdoor solutions across Europe."

The success of outdoor looks set to continue, with the first quarter of 2003 having performed well.