Giant TV advertising screen fixed on France's tallest building

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PARIS--A local outdoor advertising start-up has begun operating a gigantic TV screen on the 56-story Tour Montparnasse, France's tallest building.

The 36-square-meter screen faces the Rue de Rennes, a high-profile tourist area in Paris' Montparnasse district that's home to numerous bars, cinemas, restaurants, shops and theaters. The giant screen will be seen by a total 3.5 million car drivers and pedestrians, according to Jean Marc Rivet, co-owner of the Norifumi Goddarh network that owns the screen.

An initial group of advertisers includes sportswear giant Adidas, Ford Motor Co., mobile telecommunications operator SFR, watchmaker Tag Heuer and cosmetics giant L'Oreal, says Mr. Rivet.

The first series of ads -- purchased at the monthly rate of about $17,000 for 300 daily repetitions of a 20-second ad -- will run through Feb. 29, after which new advertisers are expected to join the roster. Apple Computer and IBM Corp. are understood to be interested in the project, which resembles giant-screen medium used in Berlin, New York and Tokyo.

Norifumi Goddarh won approval from the City of Paris for the project, and has signed a six-year lease with the Tour Montparnasse. The company is already planning a second screen at a gigantic shopping center in the southern Parisian suburb of Creteil, and other projects are at thenegotiation stage, says Mr. Rivet.

Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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