Update On BAA-JCDecaux Airport Agreement

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Well, it looks like the termination of BAA and JCDecaux Airport’s existing ‘pan-airport’ advertising agreement, announced yesterday, was spurred by the changing shape of the UK airport business following the sale of Gatwick and the recent Competition Commission report.

The Competition Commission recently ordered the break-up of BAA, telling Britain’s dominant airport owner to sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

BAA’s existing agreement with JCDecaux will end in April, 2010, and, according to the official announcement, the process to structure a new contract commences shortly and will present both organizations with an opportunity to better structure their businesses to reflect the new airport portfolio.

We’ve learned that there’s likely to be a tender process later this year, allowing anyone to bid for the contract or contracts. Until the new tender comes out, it’s unknown as to what shape the new contract will take or its length. It might well be on an airport-by-airport basis in place of the current pan-airport contract.

JCDecaux Airport has held the BAA contract for seven UK airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton, as well as Heathrow Express, since May, 2006.

The company is the world leader in airport advertising, with a network of over 141 airports around the world, targeting over 1 billion passengers a year. In the UK, JCDecaux Airport manages 11 UK air and rail concessions.

At Heathrow, JCDecaux Airport offers a range of advertising sites and formats, from giant ‘Welcome’ billboard sites at major airport entrances to the iconic Emirates Roundabout site. It has four giant Global Gateways at Terminal 5 – each one larger than four London buses. Formats include the network of Digital Airport Panels and 1.8m² Heathrow Squares.

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