Clear Channel threatens council with court

Clear Channel Billboards is threatening legal action against Manchester City Council following the council’s decision to hand the £20m contract for its large-format poster sites to rival Maiden Outdoor. The move is understood to be the first time an outdoor contractor has taken such a step.

Clear Channel, which was Manchester’s previous incumbent, is refusing to hand over 20 of the 200 sites in the portfolio. The 20 sites are 48-sheet tri-vision structures, and are housed in steel M-shaped frames. Clear Channel has written a letter to the council outlining its intentions to take the matter further and the council has sent a letter of acknowledgment in response.

Insiders claim the media giant threatened the council with legal action before the decision to hand over the sites to Maiden.

Clear Channel is understood to believe it is protected by tenancy rights and has an automatic right to renewal.

The sites cost thousands of pounds to build and were erected in 2000. Clear Channel has refused offers from the council to buy the sites.

The move means Maiden will not be able to take control of the sites. Managing director David Pugh says: “Although it’s frustrating, we will take the part of the estate we can get access to in November and await the outcome.”

Chris Shepherd, who works in the land and property department at the council and is responsible for Maiden’s contract was unavailable for comment.

Until the case is resolved, Clear Channel Billboards will continue to sell the advertising space on the sites.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here