JCDecaux spends £20m to overhaul outdoor displays

JCDecaux has unveiled a raft of upgrades to its outdoor offering, including the replacement of 20 PrimeTime 48-sheets with LED screens and the creation of Halo Light, a giant billboard made up of 1,000 hi-brite LEDs offering 17 million colours.

As part of the £20m investment, JCDecaux will introduce branding badges to its Premiere portfolio, which sees the advertiser's name lit up in a box beneath the main billboard, as well as improvements to the M4 Torch, which will now be made up of two LED screens.

Jean-Francois Decaux, the company's chairman and co-chief executive, said the plans "herald a new phase of investment behind the UK market" and that JCDecaux was "investing to create a new future for outdoor by raising the quality bar".

Phil Georgiadis, co-founder of Walker Media, believes JCDecaux is currently "setting the agenda" in terms of innovations in the sector. "It's significant that they plan to drive the quality of the stock overall rather than showboat a few examples of new technology," he said. "Now it's important that the rest of the outdoor industry keeps up."

The firm also has a new planning system, which works out the profile of the audience passing each large format site, where previously stats have been based on the demographic living in the area. There are plans to abolish paper and paste on its 10,000 billboards, introducing a new, biodegradable poster for 9,000 48-sheets and a recyclable, clip-in, high-definition vinyl poster for 900 96-sheets.

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