Tech & Innovation : JCDecaux


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France’s JCDecaux, has been awarded the world’s largest bus shelter digital advertising contract worth €700m over eight years by Transport for London (TfL).

JCDecaux, the world’s number one Outdoor advertising company, had already been digitizing the towers at Heathrow Terminal 5, a 120m2 screen at London Waterloo and the Old Street Roundabout in London. The bus shelter contract follow-up was obtained in face of competition from US’s Clear Channel.

The digital technology used by JCDecaux means that mobile phones  can download data from advertising panels. The technology also allows the use of interactive touchscreens and may eventually include voice recognition for a dialogue with the digitalized advertising panels.

In the 1960s, the concept of using ‘street furniture’ for marketing purposes was pioneered by JCDecaux in Europe and has now crossed the Atlantic to cities in the US. In Chicago, the French company obtained the street furniture contract for bus shelters in 2003, followed by a 20-year contract to manage large digital billboards in 2013. In San Francisco JCDecaux won a street furniture contract for 20 years in 2001. Deals with Boston and New York are within sight.

The lucrative London contract, however, represents a hallmark and a global showcase for JCDecaux in its pursuit for the digital transformation of cities across the world.


London’s economy is booming with a  bus network which includes 5000 bus shelter advertising sites and carries 6.5 million passengers every day.

JCDecaux is now in a strong positon to win the forthcoming London Underground digital advertising contract later this year. It is already selling advertising space on digital screens of the Shanghai Metro.

JCDecaux has acquisition plans in the US. It may well spring into action if as reported, Clear Channel is put up for sale.

With the prospect of having thousands of its bus shelters and other street furniture peppered all over large towns worldwide, JCDecaux will have a pivotal role in the developing digital revolution known as ‘Smart Cities’. In this major technological change, sensors spread all over urban areas will collect data which will then be used to enhance energy savings, public services, health care and environmental sustainability, optimize transport management, develop citizen-interactivity etc.

JCDecaux is listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Paris.

Sources:,, Financial times, Bfm business

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