Pattison Outdoor Advertising, which has handled the transit service’s ads since 1999, plans to introduce new places for businesses to present their products to riders as part of its new decade-long agreement.
This includes implementing later this year a series of screens at transit stations that show when a bus will be arriving and murals on the side of the city’s double decker buses. Advertisers will also be able to “take over” transit stations so that passengers only see ads for one company for a period of time.
Frank Wilson, Pattison’s sales manager for Ottawa, said these new initiatives will go a long way to growing the amount of money the transit service brings in from advertising.
“This contract includes the Transitway stations – previously they weren’t a part of the deal – so that allows us to do some innovative things that we’ve done in other markets,” he said.
Pattison generated about $3.3 million in annual advertising revenue during the last part of the previous contract. Mr. Wilson expected that would grow to more than $4 million over the course of the next deal, which runs until the end of 2022 and includes a five-year option for the city.
The city is guaranteed $20 million plus inflation over the course of the contract, said Councillor Diane Deans, the chair of the city's transit commission, on Tuesday afternoon.
However she added that both Pattison and the city can make more money if a larger-than-expected amount of advertising is sold.
The city broke up the advertising into four different components when it issued a request for proposals in the fall, said Mr. Wilson. Pattison only bid on the two that they won – the buses and the Transitway stations.
Ms. Deans said the city didn't receive any bids for the other two components – the printed materials and the digital advertising – but said they might look into doing those "in house."
In addition to the City of Toronto’s transit service, Pattison also handles advertising for the City of Calgary’s light-rail system.