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QMS wins lucrative City of Sydney outdoor contract

QMS Media has secured Australia’s largest out-of-home advertising contract - an exclusive 10 year agreement, with a further option, to supply the City of Sydney’s street furniture and outdoor advertising.  “This is a game changer, not only for QMS but for the broader OOH industry,” said QMS CEO Barclay Nettlefold. The contract had been held for 20 years by global OOH leader JCDecaux.

barclay nettlefold
                   "This is a game changer": QMS CEO Barclay Nettlefold 


"The City of Sydney Street Furniture contract is universally recognised as the jewel in the crown of Australia’s OOH industry,” said Nettlefold. “QMS is proud to be recognised for our credentials, capabilities and people in securing this contract.

“We thank our new owners, Quadrant Private Equity, who have been very supportive in enabling QMS to submit a compelling proposition that will facilitate the development of an exciting new premium advertising landscape. The scale of such an opportunity does not come along often.” 

In February 2020, Federal Court approved private equity firm Quadrant’s deal to buy QMS Media for $420 million. 

clover moore
"The capability to display real-time event,
 transport and emergency information":
  Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new suite of furniture equipped with predominantly digital panels would support the City’s post-COVID recovery and refresh the city centre streets.

“The new suite of furniture will help modernise our streets while also providing significant revenue to the City, which will help us maintain high quality services and public spaces for our residents, businesses and visitors,” Moore said. “This deal means we will have the capability to display real-time event, transport and emergency information on modern, sustainably designed and energy-efficient street furniture.”

The long-term agreement incorporates the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of what will be a predominantly digital advertising landscape.

QMS will develop a new Sydney based operations hub to support installation, maintenance, cleaning and repair with a dedicated operations and maintenance crew to service the new Street Furniture contract.

The new contract will see QMS begin the inventory rollout in the second half of 2021. “Prior to this, there will be expansion of the business with more than 40 new appointments reflected across all key business functions as part of the commitment to outstanding service delivery for the City Of Sydney,” QMS said.

Responding to the announcement, JCDecaux said it would maintain a significant presence in the City of Sydney.

“We are, of course, disappointed not to retain this contract,” said Steve O’Connor, CEO of JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand. “The City of Sydney was JCDecaux’s foundational contract in Australia, and we have since built a tremendous business here and in New Zealand.

In 1997, in the leadup to the 2000 Olympics, JCDecaux partnered with the City of Sydney to pioneer advertiser-funded street furniture in Australia, replacing run-down bus shelters, kiosks, benches and public toilets with architecturally-designed quality infrastructure that is still relevant today, he said.

“Our infrastructure is now part of the fabric of the City. For over 20 years, JCDecaux has cleaned, repaired and maintained this infrastructure to an extremely high standard. We are proud of this shared history between our two organisations.

“While a meaningful contract, it is not of the same calibre as the one we entered into in 1997. Irrespective of the result of the tender, JCDecaux will maintain a significant presence in the City of Sydney into the future due to its payphone contract with Telstra. The payphones populate Sydney’s most premium locations, while large swathes of bus shelters on highly trafficked city streets have been removed through the installation and operation of the light rail.”

For JCDecaux, it will be business as usual until at least 31 Jan 2021, and possibly longer, O’Connor said. “We will continue to provide these services with total professionalism and dedication until required. Further, we will continue our longstanding relationships with the many cultural institutions we support here. We’re more committed than ever to our vision: to be the unrivalled Out of Home leader in Australia and New Zealand, delivering exceptional experiences to brands, partners and our people.”