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Coming soon to a bus shelter near you: advertising

By Smackbang - 19 January 2007 30

I don’t know if this just slipped under the radar, or if it was covered in other local media, but here’s a story I thought might be of interest.

Seems that the streets of Canberra will soon be featuring something they’ve never had before: commercial advertising, on bus shelters.

As this press release reports, Adshel has won a 15-year tender let by the ACT Government to provide bus shelters with advertising:

Under the contract the company will provide up to 314 bus shelters incorporating over 266 advertising panels across the ACT, a large proportion of these in the capital Canberra.

(Where would the other ones be?! Tharwa? Williamsdale?)

There’s no money involved: the deal is that Adshel installs and maintains the shelters, emtpies the bins etc, and earns the revenue from advertising.

Apparently the shelters will look something like this.
Evo bus shelter

Personally I’m all for it. There’s no reason the Government should be spending money doing this sort of thing when Adshel and companies like it have a business model that enables them to provide public facilities at no-cost to the public.

Of course, I’ll admit that there are bound to be many who are opposed to the introduction of panel advertising on Canberra’s streets. But the question is simply, would you prefer to have facilities that are not maintained, or for the Government to be spending tax dollars to maintain them, or to endure the minor inconvenience of advertising in order for a private company to undertake the installation and maintenance. To me it’s a no-brainer.

[ED – IMHO It beats dicky little coreflute banners all over the place (something even the ACT Government has resorted to using). One wonders if we couldn’t have got a better deal]

What’s Your opinion?

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30 Responses to
Coming soon to a bus shelter near you: advertising
tortfeaser 10:40 am
19 Jan 07

Now there’s a public-private partnership that makes sense. I wonder if the sheds revert to the Govt if it goes bad, Cross City Tunnel style?

seepi 10:43 am
19 Jan 07

anything that brings actual rubbish bins back to the streets has got to be a good thing!

johnboy 10:44 am
19 Jan 07

I guess it was too much to expect the Prime Minister of Canberra to organise garbage collection.

poptop 10:46 am
19 Jan 07

I’m for it.

Only the other day I had wondered what all the ACT based BUGAUP (Billboard Utilising Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions)people were doing with their spare time. The ACT Government has solved the problem!

Less buses and more ads – Sweet.

swantonjohn 11:24 am
19 Jan 07

We had one of these outside our flat in London, used to score some great massive movie posters out of it on changeover day.

Sammy 11:29 am
19 Jan 07

As an analogy, I use Gmail because it is a rocking webmail package, and the adverts are worth putting up with for a great free service. Hopefully it’ll be the same with these new bus shelters.

jill 11:35 am
19 Jan 07

Great it means bus shelters like the one at Dirty Deakin will look modern and clean and someone will have an interest in keeping it spotless!

Thumper 11:39 am
19 Jan 07

Well, if the Socialist Republic of Canberra government can’t do it, someone has to…

johnboy 11:42 am
19 Jan 07

Looks like our expectations have been successfully lowered.

simto 11:55 am
19 Jan 07

Government has the responsibility to ensure that, for example, garbage collection is done.

That doesn’t mean they have to do it themselves – they can outsource it in a commercial arrangement such as the one mentioned. Saves government money, same result, can’t see the problem.

Now, if they don’t enforce the agreement, or alternatively the agreement is written so shoddily that standards slip, then yes, our expectations will have been lowered. But at the moment, that hasn’t happened.

So your grumpitude about this one can probably deferred for at least a month or two…

johnboy 12:00 pm
19 Jan 07

One can only hope that having been forced by necessity and incompetence to make this concession to advertising the Stanhope Government can now allow billboards in select locations.

That way our city’s flower beds can be spared the indignity of being used as second class billboards displaying cryptic and easily mis-interpreted messages like “Spastic Centre” on Vernon circle.

pierce 12:26 pm
19 Jan 07

Shiny new bus shelters are all well and good but why at the expense of the mental landscape.

One of the many things that Canberrans take for granted (or haven’t even noticed) is the absence of prominent outdoor advertising in this city.

Personally, I like the feeling that this city has a less corporate feel than most and that I can happily walk down the street, engrossed in my thoughts without some psychologically designed yelling at me for attention. Given the numerous other ways we are bombarded with information and messages in day to day life, this seems entirely civilised.

As for the Spastic Centre flowerbed, everytime I see it I think that one day I’d like to open a bar by that name. (Maybe for underage drinkers)

pierce 12:27 pm
19 Jan 07

That would be psychologically designed poster, damn it.

paperboy 12:40 pm
19 Jan 07

johnboy hit the nail on the head. The issue here is not so much about bus shelters, as about breaking an ACT-wide regulation against streetside advertising. There’s no money in a private company developing bus shelters without the big dollars from advertising. Northbourne Avenue be turned from a tree lined vista into a Piccadilly of advertising billboards on all of the shelters. Here’s a bet now, that the majority of ads will only be on the side facing the motorist. Great! Another distraction for the driver. And here’s one for the National Capital Authority. Will they appear at bus shelters within the Parliamentary triangle? I wonder how long before the Jennifer Hawkins ‘horny underwear ads’ line the streets. And whether that might see the NCA stepping in.

simto 12:42 pm
19 Jan 07

Could you back up your assertion that they were “forced into this by necessity and incompetence”? It seems to me that they chose this approach as fiscally sensible and organisationally useful. I fully admit, though, you might know more than me.

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