Billboard wars 2: ANC campaign poster removed for “breaking the law”

The 2019 Elections could well be remembered as the battle of the billboards. Last week, we saw the DA get a lot of stick for their “ANC is killing us” campaign which caused major controversy. However, it seems the ruling party have ruffled a few feathers too.

A billboard placed outside of East London’s Selborne College – with campaign messages such as “the power is in your hands” and “grow South Africa” – appear next to a huge image of Cyril Ramaphosa, encouraging citizens to vote for the president when the ballot boxes open up in May. It all seems pretty innocuous, right? Well, it’s not that simple.

Why the ANC’s East London billboard breaks the rules

The billboard has had to be removed from its location because it’s in direct contravention of the South African Schools Act. Section 33 Part 4 explains that no political propaganda should be on display near a school:

“A school may not allow the display of material of a party-political nature on its premises, unless such party-political material is related to the curriculum at the school.”

DA react to “unacceptable” breach of the law

The billboard is not owned by Selborne College, but it is located on the school’s premises and still has to comply with the provisions set out in the Schools Act. We got in touch with Edmund van Vuuren, who is the shadow MEC for education in the Eastern Cape. He was incensed by the move, which he described as “hypocritical”:

“There is a lot of hypocrisy, here. They are putting a board up at a public school – you do not do that. You can’t use schools as political playgrounds. If they do this, any other political party with the funds can erect these boards on any schools they choose.”

“Parents are then subjected to political campaigning and it’s unacceptable. We will never use a school in this fashion, nor do we visit schools during lesson time as we do not want to disrupt the pupils’ learning.”

Edmund van Vuuren

After registering his complaint with the local authorities, the billboard has since been removed – making the ANC the third major political party to encounter difficulties with a campaign poster this week. As well as the DA’s divisive message, the EFF also saw some of their materials damaged and removed from public view. It really is silly season out here.

Tractor Outdoor and Oasis Digital join forces to create the largest DOOH Network in South Africa  

Tractor Outdoor and Oasis Outdoor Media have signed a partnership agreement for the sales and marketing of the Oasis Forecourt digital network, thus making Tractor one of the biggest DOOH network in the country with over 100 digital out of home screens nationally.

This exciting partnership will provide Oasis with the additional market penetration to meet the rapid expansion of this footprint. This will allow Oasis to focus on the development side of the business which includes innovations it wishes to introduce relating to mobile marketing and other bolt-on features whilst Tractor can bring its substantial client base to the partnership.

“Tractor has made a big play in the digital space in the last year, and we have in effect streamlined our content management systems making it possible for advertisers to have a single point of entry for what is arguably the biggest DOOH network in the country. With the inclusion of the Huq data; a real world consumer research database, we are now able to offer clients a clear defined meaningful customer journey of their target market they wish to influence.’’ Says Simon Wall, Managing Director at Tractor Outdoor.

Reinhardt Hanel, CEO of Oasis Outdoor Media says he is delighted and excited about the synergies.  “Not only are we both Cape Town based companies with a national foot print and presence, but our management styles and vision for the future are completely aligned.  We believe that we have truly found the best possible partners in the industry and already the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive”

The screens are located across multiple petrol stations across Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth. All these stations are also in partnership with major banking companies and fast food outlets that can be found on the premises. With the average dwell time spent at petrol stations being 5 minutes and many motorists having to top up fuel, advertisers have the opportunity to remarket their campaigns according to their exact target market.

“Tractor is also able to develop highly accurate cost per thousand (CPM) valuation metrics through the utilization of the Huq data, which enables buyers and planners to do like for like comparisons with other campaigns that they may be running online, and in many instances they have found that advertising on the Tractor DOOH Network is in fact a far more cost effective way of reaching an audience than many other online/digital campaigns.’’ Says Bruce Burgess of IRL Consulting..

Two Aspects Will Dominate Outdoor in 2019

There are two aspects that will dominate outdoor advertising in 2019 in South Africa. The one aspect is a substantial increase in the supply of digital billboards to the South African advertisers. The other aspect is an increase in regulatory confrontations between the industry and municipalities. Once again, the industry’s lack of unity is going to be under the spotlight as a result of these two aspects.


Increase in Digital Billboards

The advertising industry is notorious for following the trends elsewhere, especially Europe. The sharp increase in the supply of digital billboards in Europe has inevitably to be followed by local operators. The prediction is that it is going to happen this year in South Africa. The mouthwatering rates that are flying around for digital space can no longer be ignored and any operator worth his salt has to have a digital billboard. If that is coupled with the annual decrease in the costs of installing digital billboards the time if more that ripe for a substantial increase in the digital space. However, operators need to be carefully consider the following:

  • In the short term, digital billboard will erode income on static billboards;
  • The ad spend for outdoor need to increase for the digital holding to be profitable;
  • The economics of a digital billboard is dependent on the fact that advertisers will pay more for less time on a billboard, if this rate drops operators may find themselves on the short end of a stick;
  • Creatives are not currently suited for digital displays especially videos as the viewing time of 3 to 4 seconds is substantially shorter that the current 15 or 30 second video advertisement;
  • Digital advertising also creates space for smaller advertisers and should be explored to avoid a bombardment of the agencies with a digital supply which will surely drive down the price.
  • In future digital billboards will be more reliant on data to attract advertisers and the technological upscaling of your billboard is therefore important.

Leadership in the industry will be an important impetus for this expansion as it may easily turn sour and start a price war that will leave, especially smaller players vulnerable. The current fragmentation of the industry will certainly not assist role-players to traverse this new expansion.


Regulatory Confrontations


At least two important court cases will be decided this year. The case regarding the Joburg by-laws will be heard in April and regardless of the outcome it is going to have repercussions. If the by-laws are set aside, the old and equally problematic by-laws will be enforced with new vigor. If the attack is not successful the new by-laws will be enforced with vigor. Another case will decide the jurisdictional issue between municipalities and provinces. Besides that, it seems that Gauteng is going to promulgate new regulations.

However, the scion that has already raised its head is the notion by municipalities to levy a display fee for billboards. These are sometimes applicable only to private property and some on all billboards. This cannot be regarded as anything else then a tax. In some municipalities these run into the hundreds of thousands of rand per year and in some instances more than a million per year. This needs to be attacked by the industry as a collective because its eroding effect on income on billboards is going to be substantial. Again. the fragmented industry does not assist in tackling this problem. It is going to be difficult for single companies to tackle it alone as the pockets of the municipalities are deeper than individual companies.

FEPE International names judges for 2019 Awards

Global Out of Home Association FEPE International has named the judges for its 2019 Awards: Creative, Lifetime Achievement, Leadership, Technical innovation and the industry’s Rising Star.

Executive director John Ellery will chair the awards panel drawn from the FEPE Board and Executive, including new Director Katrin Robertson from blowUP Media. They will be joined by Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of Australia’s Outdoor Media Association.

Joining the awards panel for the FEPE Creative Awards is Dino Burbidge, latterly Director of Tech and Innovation at London creative ad agency WCRS. Burbidge brings a wealth of advertising and technological expertise to the Creative Awards, which celebrate the best creative work in the medium through the year.

Once again the panel of judges for the Creative Awards will make two awards: Classic, for traditional static posters, and Digital.

Last year’s Classic winner was music streaming company Spotify for its US campaign featuring a number of alternative playlists, produced in-house. The winner in the Digital category was Japan National Tourism Organisation for a for a campaign from Enjin Tokyo who worked with Clear Channel France to show the full potential of the digital Out of Home medium.

Awards chairman Ellery says: “The FEPE International Creative Awards have become the blue riband of Out of Home creative globally and we hope and expect that this year we will have more entries than ever.

“Last year’s Classic and Digital winners, and many of the other contenders, were outstanding and the addition of Charmaine and Dino to the judging team will ensure the 2019 Awards reflect the very best creative work of the industry worldwide.”

Entries in all categories are free and may be submitted by FEPE members and OOH National Associations.  For further information on entry requirements and a nomination form please go to . Closing Date for nominations is March 1st.

All nominations should be sent to Richard Saturley –

Global CEOs of Kinetic and Posterscope join Keynote Speakers at FEPE International in Dubai

Kinetic Global CEO Marc-Antoine de Roys and Posterscope Global CEO Stephen Whyte have been confirmed as Keynote Speakers for FEPE International’s 60th Annual Congress be be held at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City on May 1-3 2019.

FEPE is the global association for Out of Home media owners, national associations, specialist agencies, technology companies and other suppliers to the industry.

De Roys and Whyte join Leagas Delaney chairman Tim Delaney and JC Decaux Co-Chairman Jean-Charles Decaux among the Keynote Speakers.

Kinetic, owned by WPP, and Posterscope, owned by Dentsu Aegis Network, are the the world’s largest specialist Out of Home planning and buying agencies.

FEPE President Tom Goddard says: “Our intention was always that FEPE’s 60th annual Congress in Dubai would the biggest and best yet and we’re delighted to confirm that we have Keynote Speakers from three fundamental pillars of the industry.

“Jean-Charles Decaux brings an essential perspective from the world’s biggest Out of Home media owner, Marc-Antoine de Roys and Stephen Whyte sit at the intersection of the industry with many of the world’s biggest advertisers and Tim Delaney is one of the world’s most respected and awarded creatives and also the head of a thriving independent international creative agency network.

“FEPE Dubai  is now set fair to be 2019’s unmissable window on the thriving global Out of Home industry as we face the challenges of a rapidly changing media marketplace and a number of new demands and expectations from the international client community.

“Last year in Sorrento we had a record 405 delegates from all over the world, including more than 20 from China for the first time, and we expect Dubai to be even bigger, making it truly representative of the global industry.”



Outdoor Network has taken the latest step in growing its already-sizeable network, by unveiling a large format double-sided digital billboard site on the M3 highway in close proximity to the Durban CBD.

The site is significant in size and commands an imposing presence, measuring 4.5m x 18m (81m2 on each side), and is located adjacent to the M3, facing all east-bound traffic from the N3, N2 and Pietermaritzburg into the CBD, and the south and west-bound traffic exiting the city.

“It is the single largest digital out of home billboard in South Africa and demonstrates Outdoor Network’s commitment to investing in state-of-the-art out-of-home advertising in strategically-positioned locations,” says Warren Dugmore, Outdoor Network’s Head of Sales, Billboards.

Each side of the billboard is expected to reach an audience of well over 500 000 consumers. With an average frequency rate of 6.5, the site is expected to deliver 3.3 million impacts every month (ROAD2015/2016/2017C), offering significant exposure and value for any brand taking up the space.

Whilst there’s no doubting that the size of the digital LED structure will turn a lot of heads and garner most of the attention, it shouldn’t be forgotten that its strategic location alongside the key highway heading into the Durban CBD is another key factor in its desirability.

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa andforms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighbouring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast. It is also one of South Africa’s major tourism centres because of the city’s warm sub-tropical climate and extensive beaches, and Durban has also positioned itself as an important business events destination, largely due to the success of the Durban ICC.

Digital out of home is the second fastest-growing advertising medium globally after social media, and an international study of 3,500 consumers in the UK found that by a clear majority, digital out of home advertising was: considered modern (79%); innovative (69%); appealing (67%); entertaining (63%); and stood out from other forms of outdoor advertising (70%).

Further to that, according to Media Caddy’s ‘The Metrics of Digital Out of Home Advertising’, “digital place-based out of home advertising has some of the highest recall in the industry, at around 47% after a month’s time. Better recall means more customer recognition and more brand engagement, even a month after the ad was shown!”

No surprise then that digital forms an integral part of Outdoor Network’s growth strategy, an area it is heavily invested in. Outdoor Network is maximising the advantages of this cutting-edge technology and using it to reach key consumer segments, while positively influencing recall and engagement with an effective digital out-of-home solution.

Tractor Outdoor and UrbanSigns announce strategic partnership

Tractor Outdoor and UrbanSigns is pleased to announce the establishment of “urbantrac” a collaboration between the two companies to redefine their DOOH portfolio profoundly within the Cape Town area.

“We are proud to join forces with Urban Signs,” says Ben Harris, Rights and Development Director at Tractor Outdoor. “. With DOOH growing rapidly in the OOH sector there is no doubt that we as media owner need to evolve and keep up with the latest trends within the industry. By collaborating we are merging our large scale portfolios and expertise to allow our clients to target multiple key locations specificallyaimed at their target market and maximizing their unique reach.”

An exclusive digital 3×6 screen which is located along the M5 Highway in Cape Town is one of the first DOOH additions to the “urbantrac” trademark. With the addition of this screen, it now takes Tractor’s digital portfolio growth up to 9 screens this year alone.

“It is my pleasure to announce that UrbanSigns and Tractor are now a fully formed partnership. We have together put in a tremendous amount of hard work and I am confident in Tractor’s expertise and knowledge of the OOH industry and I look forward to future developments.” says Antony Urbaniak, Owner of UrbanSigns.


2018 has been a year of change for Global Out of Home Media – a division of the Provantage Media Group – in which it has implemented and put in place foundations upon which to capitalise on its market-leading position in the African market and deliver tangible results for its customers.

A key element in this change has been a rebranding of the division, in order to position the company for future growth and development.

With this has come a new logo that places Africa ‘at the heart’ of Global Out of Home Media, illustrating the division’s passion for the continent.

“The new look and feel builds on our legacy and heritage, but also offers a modern take on it, which complements the company as leaders in the out of home space,” says Howard Lonstein, Marketing Manager of Global Out of Home Media.

Another important development has seenthe appointment of experienced industry professional Patrick de Robillard as Global Out of Home Media’s Head of Sales. De Robillard has over 20 years’ experience in the industry and is a specialist in the African market.

“This is a great opportunity,” says De Robillard. “I’m proud to be looking after such a highly-regarded brand and team and it’s great to be back at Global and working across Africa. I feel that Global Out of Home Media, together with PMG’s resources, forward-thinking and innovative approach, is going to be a serious force to be reckoned with in the next couple of years.”

With years of experience across Africa, Global Out of Home Media offers advertisers insight and key in-market experience, making it seamless to advertise across the continent. Its knowledge of the African market, continued investment, particularly in Digital Out-of-Home, including its unique nuances and the dynamics of how to operate, puts Global Out of Home Media in the perfect position to deliver best-in-class service, sites and audiences.

Ultimately, this means Global Out of Home Media is primed to service a host of multinational brands, media and creative agencies, in addition to the direct business it generates. It prides itself on delivering effective and results-driven campaigns, with a focus on service excellence and the leveraging of its position as an expert in the Africa market.

Estimates show that by 2025, almost half of Africans will be living in cities. This has positioned the continent as a major investment market, which is helping to fuel the GDP growth of many African countries.

This economic growth, together with media fragmentation, provides an ideal environment in which out of home media is able to play a role in providing a communication vehicle and access to sought after consumer sets. Effectively, the growth in urbanization and investment will lead to an increase in commuter traffic and time exposed to Out-of-Home.

Further to that, the business has taken a long-term view on Africa and recently demonstrated its commitment to the continent’s out of home industry by taking one of the leading sponsorships atthe Airports Council International Africa’s27th Annual General Assembly, Regional Conference and Exhibition, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in October.


That commitment, coupled with the introduction of new opportunities and OOH innovations, means that Global Out of Home Media is in a position to provide agencies and multinationals with the opportunity to work with one company, and one that is able to deliver on their out-of-home communications requirements in key airport and roadside billboard locations across Africa.

Airport Ads and Global Out of Home Media Support ACI Africa General Assembly

Airport Ads® in association with Global Out of Home Media recently played a key sponsorship role in the Airports Council International Africa’s 27th Annual General Assembly, Regional Conference and Exhibition, which took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from the 13thto the 19thof October.

Airports Council International (ACI) is the only global trade representative of the world’s airports and represents their interests with governments and international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, develops standards, policies and recommended practices for airports, and provides information and training opportunities to raise standards around the world.

The theme of this year’s ACI Africa event was Challenges of safety and security in African airports, issues and perspectives” and it was attended by regional and global leaders from the airport industry, government officials and regulators, who were all on hand to discuss African airport safety and security, while exploring innovative solutions and addressing the upcoming challenges of aviation in the region.

With this in mind, the purpose of the joint sponsorship was to strengthen ties with its various partners and to forge new relationships, with the purpose of ultimately servicing the growing needs of airports across the African continent.

Airport Ads® – a division of the Provantage Media Group – is South Africa’s leading airport advertising concessionaire and believes it can play a strategic role in driving the growth of non-aeronautical revenue (NAR) for Africa’s airport operators.

Airport Ads® delivers effective advertising solutions at 23 airports across Africa, together with PMG’s Global Out of Home Media division, which operates over 2,100 strategically positioned sites in key markets on the continent.At the forefront of digital airport advertising, Airport Ads® has over 1,600 digital screens delivering a mix of news and brand messaging on Airport.TV, a place-based digital network of screens located in high dwell zones that adds value to the passenger experience and journey. This is bolstered by Airport Ads’® large format Visionet digital billboards.

As the businesses expand their operations across Africa, there has been huge interest from several of the largest airports on the continent in the service, knowledge and skill Airport Ads® can deliver on the NAR front.

PMG was represented in Abidjan by Deputy CEO Mzi Deliwe, who is also the head of Airport Ads®, and Sylvain Rouch, GM at Global Out Of Home Media. Deliwe delivered the keynote speech at the event’s gala dinner – which was attended by a number of dignitaries – during which he was able to touch on key trends and insights, and the value of NAR to airport concessioners.

All around the world, airports rely on non-aeronautical revenue such as retail concessions, advertising, car parking, property and real estate to maintain their facilities and provide high quality service.

The average revenue derived from NAR is in the region of 40% globally and overall it’s a US$63.5bn industry. This is an important revenue stream that adds immediate value to the bottom line for airport operators, but Africa’s airports are lagging behind. On the continent, less than 20% of airports’ revenues generated is commercial.

Analysts forecast that the global airport NAR market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.95% through to 2021, which means that Africa’s airports have a huge opportunity to transform and unlock the potential available from this revenue stream.

The businesses’ continued initiatives aimed at supporting current offerings and growing their overall African airports footprint ensures that operators and brands alike are provided with the best possible advertising revenue streams and solutions continent wide.


Vodacom recently partnered with Street Network to drive awareness in Cape Town of the mobile service provider’s fibre offering.

To this end, Vodacom has embarked on an awareness campaign that sees it rolling out a thought-provoking execution across a number of strategically-located bus shelters along popular routes in the Mother City, targeting commuting Capetonians as they make their way to and from work, shopping and leisure activities.

As prices of fibre and data come down, the demand and competition for consumer spend is ever increasing, and the Vodacom Fibre offering is compelling, with high-speed broadband coverage in all the major provinces, including Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, and the Free State. The mobile service provider continues to roll out fibre in these areas and is also focusing on outlying regions such as Nelspruit, Witbank, and Polokwane, as it moves to becoming a bigger player in the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) market.

The South African data landscape is undergoing significant change.

The Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services presented its ‘SA Connect’progress report to Parliament earlier this year, and in it highlighted how much progress had been made in fibre and cellular coverage roll-out across the country.

Based on data provided by the FTTX Council, the report found that the number of houses passed by fibre had grown from 439,000 in 2017 to 933,000 by March 2018 – equivalent to 112% year-on-year growth. Additionally, the number of houses connected to fibre grew from 89,000 in 2016/17 to 280,000 in 2017/18.

Globally, the figures are even more impressive.

According to Future Market Insights’ research publication titled Fibre to the Home Market: Global Industry Analysis (2012-2016) and Opportunity Assessment (2017-2027)’, the global FTTH market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.4%. From a value of $9.5bn in 2017, the global fibre to the home market is estimated to reach a valuation of more than $37bn by the end of 2027.

The creative for the campaign is simple and follows abest-in-class application of out of home and bus shelter creative, using the Vodacom brand CI and a simple message in the form of a thought-provokingquestion: “Wouldn’t it be better to be home streaming your favourite shows?”

Site selection for the campaign was focused on strategically-located bus shelters along busy commuter routes, with a total reach of over 900 000 consumers monthly, resulting in impacts of 9.1m thanks to an average frequency of 10. (ROAD2015/2016/2017C)

“Bus shelters are positioned to catch the attention of consumers on their daily commute, within targeted areas identified by the brand. Bus shelter advertising is a high frequency media platform which drives both consumer recall and engagement. Our bus shelter solution amplified and extended the reach of the campaign with high levels of recall, particularly for residents considering the switch to fibre,” says Jonathan Everest, Head of Sales at Street Network.”

Street Network provides an ideal advertising medium from an audience and geographic coverage perspective, in addition to enhancing the value of a campaign and speaking directly to a targeted audience.