Outdoor advertising positively impacts cities – a study by Clear Channel

Outdoor advertising is transforming cities by helping tackle population growth and serving as a vital public information resource, according to a new report.
Out of home, into the city: transforming cities by engaging citizens, commissioned by the Clear Channel Outdoor advertising company and seen exclusively by Cities Today, highlights new research in seven European cities–London, Paris, Dublin, Barcelona, Stockholm, Naples and Brussels–which reports the majority of people feel out of home advertising (OOH)–or advertising people see when they are away from home such as on billboards or using public transport–is making a positive contribution to their city.
82% of respondents agreed outdoor advertising in public revives a city while only 5% of citizens actively disliked the OOH medium. The report cited findings that suggest audiences look to OOH to not only inform them about brands and consumer goods but assume more responsibility in public service provision. It explores the ways OOH is deployed, ranging from crime prevention to housing to cultural initiatives.
83% of respondents, questioned by research company TNS, supported greater use of OOH advertising on public transport if it improved service while 77% wanted OOH to supply information on public events and 74% expressed support for the medium to showcase local services, maps and clocks. 87% of citizens in Barcelona liked or remained neutral on OOH while 78% of Londoners expressed a preference for seeing outdoor advertising in their capital.
The results of the Clear Channel Outdoor report are likely to increase the momentum for municipalities to collaborate with OOH companies to enhance city living through forging partnerships in mass transit, street furniture and public art.
The report includes a forward from Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and Chairman of C40, the climate leadership group with whom Clear Channel Outdoor are partnering. Mayor Paes wrote: “We are making ambitious and important pledges to our citizens: to ensure our cities grow sustainably, enabling citizens to live and work happily. Mayors and politicians need to work with business and with civil society organisations to fulfil these promises. This report clearly demonstrates how out of home advertising can make an important and valuable contribution.”
William Eccleshare, Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International, commented: “Out of home advertising makes a pivotal contribution to addressing today’s biggest challenges–from enabling governments, businesses and people to engage with one another, to improving the living conditions for an increasingly urbanised population, and even tackling big issues like climate change. In doing so, we can help cities continue to drive innovation and progress. It’s pleasing that people living and working in cities share that vision.”
In addition to including insights from respondents, the report highlights expertise from thought leaders on the future of cities and the challenges of urban population growth and the growing demand for public services.
“We are moving from Smart Cities to Happy Cities…we’ve gone from efficiency to wellbeing,” said Daniele Quercia, Researcher in Social Media at Yahoo Labs, Barcelona. “Cities will focus in the future being more playful where engagement and participation become more important.”
Jeff Risom, Partner of Gehl Architects and a leading designer of public space, said: “We’re essentially doubling the urban capacity of cities. We’re doing in 50 or 60 years what it previously took us two millennia to build. I don’t believe there are the resources, money or materials to build what we need…the real untapped resource is people.”
Source: Cities Outdoor