Disputes Over Exclusive Advertising Rights

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Montreal-based NEWAD, which offers more than 20,000 advertising faces – including 500 digital screens – in 2,500 advertising locations across Canada in restaurants and bars, health and fitness centres, and colleges and universities, is opposing a recent request by Rouge Media and Chapter 66 to become members of the Canadian Outdoor Measurement Bureau.

NEWAD’s objections are based on the fact that the two companies, which have advertising banners in their product offerings, are allegedly violating NEWAD’s exclusive advertising rights. Accordingly, NEWAD has instituted injunction proceedings against Rouge Media and Chapter 66 to put a stop to what it says are illegal practices.

The proceedings aim at ordering Rouge Media and Chapter 66 to stop soliciting establishments bound to NEWAD by exclusive advertising agreement, and to remove all advertising banners installed by the two companies in establishments that are under exclusive space license agreements with NEWAD. NEWAD has recently obtained, in another case, a permanent injunction against Power Medias, for similar practices.

“As the first indoor advertising company to join COMB in 2004, NEWAD has invested a lot of time and money to develop Traffik, a circulation methodology which became the industry standard in 2005,” says Michael Reha, president of NEWAD. “We are open to licensing this methodology to other users in the industry, including our competitors. We are, however, opposed to granting user licenses of the Traffik methodology to companies that breach our rights and do not respect pre-established agreements.”

While unable to comment on the case, Karen Best, COMB president, says, “New member applications to COMB undergo several steps to ensure that the OOH inventory being submitted for COMB measurement, audit, and proof-of-performance is reliable and meets approved methodology standards. Any application for membership, from any out-of-home operator, follows the same process and ultimately requires approval by COMB’s Board of Directors.” (COMB’s Board is comprised of members from the out-of-home industry, advertising agencies and advertisers.)

Founded in 1995 and employing 350 people, NEWAD offers indoor advertising, event marketing, and Nightlife magazine and has offices in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Moncton.

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