JCDecaux making big moves down under – exclusive Westfield partnership and content extension

JCDecaux ANZ today announced an exclusive partnership with Westfield parent company Scentre Group, along with an indication it may be looking to get into content.

Since the French OOH firm bought APN Outdoor for $1.2 billion in 2018, JCDecaux has been setting the stage for an aggressive expansion of its operations in the Australian market.

The JCDecaux ANZ and Scentre Group partnership will see JCDecaux develop and manage a portfolio of external roadside advertising touchpoints surrounding Scentre Group’s Westfield ‘living centres’ – otherwise known as shopping centres – in Australia and New Zealand.

“Our relationship with Scentre Group is a very strong one,” says Steve O’Connor CEO of JCDecaux ANZ, “founded on mutual respect, and we are delighted to be working together on these significant new opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.

“Our new partnership includes several locations that offer unique reach into areas not previously covered by outdoor advertising.”

The partnership is based on a 10-year agreement which JCDecaux says will see the two companies work together across world-class signage and technology.

Scentre Group general manager, partner experience, Bill Burton comments, “We are pleased to partner with JCDecaux to build on our strategic mix of marketing and advertising assets across our premium platform of 41 living centres in Australia and New Zealand.

“This partnership is a testament to the value and reach of our Westfield living centre platform, which sees customer visitation of more than 535 million each year.”

Expanding horizons

The French OOH is also setting its sights on content in the Australian market, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald this morning.

O’Connor told SMH, “I think [content is] something that we need to consider because again creativity is obviously key and that’s going to drive industry growth.”

Last year saw Australia’s pool of major OOH players shrink from four to two within a matter of weeks with JCDecaux’s $1.2 billion APN Outdoor purchase and oOh! media’s $570 million Adshel purchase. Notably, oOh! media is also the owner of online youth publishing brand Junkee Media, with an alleged 733,000 unique monthly Australian views.

“It’s something that we will be reviewing for sure,” O’Connor told SMH, adding that the company hopes to move into the content space “pretty soon”.

“But whether we purchase a company … I don’t know that we’d do that but I think we’d certainly have the resources in-house to be able to manage that and maybe outsource it, or there would be a blend,” he said.

This wouldn’t be JCDecaux’s first foray into content. Since 2013 the OOH company has operated a Twitter-driven book club in the UK – integrated into its digital screen network throughout public transport nodes. The first content partner for the program, in 2014, was Hachette UK, providing access to signed books and popular authors for live events and book readings.

“I think it’s something we do very successfully in the UK,” O’Connor said.

Nevertheless, he reassured that the company would remain focused on its core OOH offering, saying it was always the business’ philosophy and “what JCDecaux do globally”.

 

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Image credit:Sam Wermut

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 8 July 2019
Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au