Between the Lines: Payphones are out of style

Congratulations to JCDecaux on winning BT Payphones (page 2). Its chief executive, Jeremy Male, says: "It's a great product with huge potential and is very strong in terms of its young, urban profile."

But Clear Channel, which currently holds the business, claims JCDecaux has overpaid for the contract, arguing it would have been "unprofitable and not in shareholders' interest" to have bid any more.

In this mobile day and age, it's hard to see payphones as anything other than old-fashioned. Just 20,000 of the 50,000 network carry ads, so it seems some advertisers have yet to be convinced. JCDecaux could have a tough selling job on its hands.

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