TfL starts search for commercial media partners

Transport for London (TfL) is launching one of the world’s most unique advertising opportunities to search for media partners to manage, and further develop, its extensive advertising space across London’s transport network - a network that is used by millions of customers every day.

The move is part of TfL’s commercial approach to fully utilise its assets to generate non-fare revenue. The funds generated from these large-scale contracts will be reinvested back into London’s transport network for the benefit of everyone living, working or visiting the capital. The new contracts are expected to start on April 1, 2025.

This is also the first time that TfL is bringing both components of its advertising estate, at bus shelters and across the its Rail network (including London Underground), to market at the same time. While there will still be two independent contracts that suppliers can bid for, by bringing both to the market at the same time, TfL hopes to achieve the best competitive outcome for itself and its prospective partners.

To guarantee a successful procurement, TfL previously issued a market sounding questionnaire prior to the tender process to engage with potential partners. This was to ensure media companies felt more informed when asked to meet demands, and for TfL to increase its market understanding and adapt requirements accordingly ahead of issuing a supplier questionnaire.

TfL has not only the largest out of home advertising network in the UK, but also has a network supporting a total of 3.3bn customer journeys last year.

TfL’s bus shelter estate alone consists of more than 4,700 advertising bus shelters, carrying more than 9,000 traditional paper panels and 612 digital panels, with the Rail (including London Underground) network covering 272 London Underground stations, 83 London Overground stations, 45 DLR stations, 39 London Trams stops, Victoria Coach Station and 40 Elizabeth line stations.

This means that the successful partners will be able to utilise the vast scope of TfL’s lucrative advertising space to connect the best brands with the right audience.

Chris Reader, head of commercial media at Transport for London (TfL), said: “The selection questionnaire is a key part of the process to tender for our next advertising concessions from April 2025.

“This is an exciting opportunity for media partners as we look to combine commercial excellence with our prestigious advertising estate. We want to work with the industry in a way that allows us to attain the best partnerships and therefore best value for our customers, while generating vital income to be reinvested into the transport network.”

“With ridership numbers on our buses, Tubes, and trains rising to close to pre-pandemic numbers, now is optimum time for media partners and brands to collaborate with us.

“We are seeking partnerships that can adapt to changing times, which will see not only the market and technology evolve, but also the evolution of TfL’s social and environmental responsibilities as we strive to fulfil our ambition to become a strong green heartbeat of London.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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