New York Unveils First of Cemusa's Street Furniture

New-Look Bus Shelter the Beginning of Overhaul of Outdoor Media Landscape

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The first phase of New York's outdoor makeover has officially been set in motion. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's unveiling in Queens yesterday of the first of 3,300 renovated bus shelters across the five boroughs was the first peek at the new look outdoor company Cemusa will bring to city streets.
The Big Apple's new-look -- and ad-friendly -- bus shelter.
The Big Apple's new-look -- and ad-friendly -- bus shelter.

The event was a coming-out party of sorts for Spain-based Cemusa, which won the much-coveted street-furniture contract this year. Additional bus shelters and 20 new public toilets and 330 newsstands will hit the streets in the first few months of 2007.

Creating worth for outdoor
Cemusa's intent with its street-furniture contract is to create worth for a medium historically underappreciated by advertisers, said David Askew, director-North American marketing and sales. "We want [street furniture] advertising to be valued, not just placed," he said.

The deal comes with a built-in benefit for the city, which pockets $999 million in cash from Cemusa's bid for the contract. The city has also launched a $398 million global advertising campaign touting New York as a vacation hotspot looking to bolster tourism revenue.

In addition to the all-new furniture, more than 600 existing bus shelters have already been renovated under the Cemusa partnership. Collectively, the deal "marks the end of decades of inertia for street furniture," Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff said in a statement. "This is about improving our quality of life, enhancing our image, and generating revenue for the City. It's a win all around."

Splashy debut
For a company seeking to increase its U.S. reach in the coming years, a splashy New York debut can only help put its name on the map cross country.

"This market is a fantastic opportunity for us to expand because I believe a lot of communities out there want nice street furniture," Mr. Askew said. "We have plenty of bids over the next two years with important cities, so hopefully we'll see a massive growth."
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