Viacom plans LU screens launch

Viacom Outdoor is to launch ten plasma screens in London Underground stations that will carry television-style ads.

The introduction of the screens marks the company’s second foray into moving-image advertising. Its last attempt was a cross-track projection system called XTP, which was due to be launched last year. Viacom was forced to scrap the plans when its partner in the project DHJ Media went into liquidation (MW May 16, 2002).

The launch of these screens is being treated as “top secret” by Viacom’s sales team, but a date has been set for April this year. These screens differ from XTP in that they will not run as a network but will be operated separately at each station. Viacom is understood to have already lined up one company, possibly Coors Beer, to advertise on all the screens for an as yet unspecified period.

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Viacom Outdoor says it has offered compensation to hundreds of advertisers that booked ad space on the closed Central Line. A spokeswoman says the situation has been monitored since last month’s Chancery Lane Tube crash, and all advertisers whose posters were up in the areas affected by the closure have been offered the choice of credit or money back.

“Some Central Line stations are still open as they have connecting lines, so it is not as widespread a problem as you might imagine,” she adds.

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