Poster industry faces upheaval

The poster industry’s biggest players are chasing Manchester City Council’s property advertising rights in a pitch that could change the face of the poster industry.

Manchester has put the rights to build poster sites on its property out to tender. Maiden Outdoor, More O’Ferrall and Mills & Allen are all fighting for the contract, which will allow the winner to build an estimated 100 48-sheet poster sites in the city. A decision is due by the end of this month.

The winner’s dominance of the city will be complete as the contract also includes policing all other poster sites in the city to ensure they comply with planning regulations.

The tender process is being watched by other local authorities, including Glasgow City Council, as a method of maximising revenue from their property portfolios and ensuring the legality of sites is monitored.

On its own, the Manchester contract will weaken the losing contractors’ coverage in the Granada TV region, as any existing council contracts for 48-sheets will be cancelled. If replicated throughout the country, it could play havoc with contractors’ packages and distribution. Bus shelters are unaffected.

“After years of fighting with outdoor, councils are starting to embrace it,” says one contractor involved in the pitch. “They now realise there are revenues to be made from outdoor advertising and they can get them to act as watchdogs to keep others out.”

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