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Auckland Council gives green light for digital billboard network

Auckland’s streetscape will get a little more electric as its council has given APN Outdoor the green light to build a network of digital billboards.

APN Outdoor, which since January 24 has been owned solely by Quadrant Private Equity, wants four new digital billboards to be ready by August this year.

After an 18-month consent process, APN Outdoor has permission to create a network of billboards in Auckland city. It already launched the country’s first digital billboard last year in Auckland’s Queen St.

General manager Phil Clemas says network of billboards will cost the company seven figures but won’t detail how much exactly. The billboards will be imported from the US. 

Mr Clemas says APN Outdoor has received resource consent and billboard dispensation from Auckland Council for the proposed sites. 

He won’t reveal how much it cost in application fees but an earlier Official Information Act request made by NBR shows the first site, 380 Queen St, cost in excess of $12,000 in billboard application fees alone.

Mr Clemas says the billboards enhance the look and feel of the city and is confident there will be no objections from the public.

He says council process also involved a lot of consulting with road engineers and APN Outdoor used Jasmax to help integrate the billboards. He says the company had initially planned six billboards but, allowing for its win of the Auckland Airport contract, it will divert funds toward investment there.

Electronic billboards are more flexible than traditional signs as they can be sold in two-week rotations to suit campaign needs.

However, advertisers must buy purchase ad space in all five sites. Mr Clemas believes the network of billboards will reach more than 206,000 people daily.

The images rotate every eight seconds and must be static images, as animation was not permitted by NZTA.

He says APN Outdoor’s new ownership has allowed greater investment in this market as Quadrant is solely focused on outdoor rather than range of media brands.

APN Outdoor will officially launch the billboards at the upcoming the Beacon awards (previously known as the CAANZ media awards) on May 31.

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions

I hope those boards can't be hacked. Otherwise the possibilities are frankly endless - and too tempting to miss.

How did they manage to get that past the Council Planning Department, it doesn't look compatible with the historic values of the surrounding environment.