QMS CoS lead Jemma Enright on the challenges of a delayed rollout and the proposition for brands

QMS Media was first awarded the lucrative City of Sydney street furniture contract in June of 2020, but the changeover of assets from the previous provider JC Decaux is only just getting underway.

COVID has impacted several aspects of the changeover, hampering not only the arrival of new assets from overseas but also hampering Sydney’s construction industry, and QMS Media’s general manager of the project, Jemma Enright, admitted the delays have been tough.

Speaking on the Mumbrellacast this week, Enright said: “There have been a few delays, um, with COVID, but the scale of this project means that there is a lot going on, and regardless of the delays, we’re in constant contact with the market about that.

“What’s [been] encouraging is that the market has been incredibly gracious in their understanding of the kind of conditions that we’re facing at the moment and why some of those delays have happened. So it’s all guns blazing at QMS both on the infrastructure side and the sales side before we go live.”

QMS Media has finally begun to roll-out some assets, with benches and bins coming in this week. The updated timeline will then see bus shelters begin to be installed on 1 November, before kiosks begin to be replaced from 15 February.

Significantly, the new suite of assets, across what is Australia’s largest out-of-home contract, will be significantly more digitised than the current offering.

“70% of the panels will be digital which means 90% of the entire inventory will be digital. That’s something that has been on my radar as a significant change in the structure of the network. There’ll be ten times the digital assets in the network,” Enright said.

“The opportunities that digital provides are great. The digital and the data in combination together really enhances the ability for a brand to get closer to the customers that they really need.

“There’s more effectiveness in using the [digital ] medium, but also the fact that you can do really interesting things with creative as well, I think that’s really enticing brands.”

She also stressed that advertisers should remember the contract stretches beyond just the CBD. “We’re bringing digital to the whole geography of the City of Sydney, not just the 2000 postcodes.

“They will sit around the CBD and 33 of Sydney’s most desirably suburbs.”

QMS Media recently put the call out for launch partners too, and the brands interested. “We have an expanded list of brands who want to see the partnership proposal when it’s ready, and we’re targeting October for that,” Enright added.

“I can’t speak to the specific brands in commercial confidence, but what I can say is we’ve had such a great response from so many different categories across the industry. So from the finance to the automotive category, to the FMCG categories, certainly the streaming and entertainment category.

“Nearly every category, we’ve engaged multiple brands within that. So we’re really confident that when we bring our partnership proposal to market… it [will] be a compelling offer that will get the response from those brands that we really need it.”


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