Could I just clarify one or two perhaps misleading comments made regarding the recent dramatic changes in the bus advertising marketplace (MW January 6). Firstly, I would like to point out that Metrobus has not had a row with BTA over share. Quite rightly, BTA have made it clear that all these changes will not take place immediately, but having spoken to Julian Macey at BTA I do not think that either of us dispute the numbers involved. The only company that seems to have exaggerated its market share position in recent articles is LTA.
Regarding the comment made that bus advertising will now be an “absolute nightmare to plan ahead while bus contractors don’t co-operate with one another”, Metrobus and BTA, together with other contractors, continue to communicate on an almost daily basis to help make the process of buying a campaign for clients as easy as possible. It is important in the context of this to emphasise how comparatively simple buying a bus campaign is compared to planning and buying other forms of outdoor advertising. You don’t, for example, have to send out a field force to select individual buses. It is wholly misleading to suggest that these changes will cause a lot of hassle to any media buyer.
Metrobus introduced computerised planning of bus campaigns, which has radically simplified the whole process of buying the bus medium. We are now adding the dates of transfer of all contract changes to the Metrobus Computer Planning System so that the correct contractor will be allocated for each campaign in order to assist the planner.
Clearly, the bus market is getting more competitive, but this does not just mean bus fleet responsibilities changing hands. More is being done to sell the product and more people are talking positively about bus advertising than ever before.