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Six municipalities staunchly refuse digital advertising boards

18:09 18/02/2019

Outdoor advertising specialist JCDecaux has heard a resounding ‘no’ from six Brussels municipalities in response to its proposal to place digital advertising boards on the streets. The boards were to be in return for making one-third of the Villo! fleet of bicycles electric.

JCDecaux owns and manages the Villo! bike-sharing scheme and has been asked by the capital-region to replace one-third of the bicycles with electric versions. The company suggested being allowed to make one-third of its outdoor advertising boards, which now sport posters, digital in return.

While Brussels minister of mobility responded favourably to the proposal, six municipalities – Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Forest, Etterbeek, Schaerbeek and Watermael-Boitsfort – have refused the offer. “They use a lot of energy and post a risk to traffic safety,” Ixelles city councillor for urban planning, Yves Rouyet (Ecolo), told RTBF.

Ixelles would be looking at hosting 28 digital advertising boards should the deal go through. “There are already screens everywhere,” said Rouyet. “Children and adults alike are constantly busy with their smartphones and tablets. We are not going to add even more digital screens to our urban landscape.”

The other municipalities agreed, largely citing traffic safety concerns. JCDecaux plans to meet with representatives of the capital-region next week to discuss its options.

Photo courtesy JCDecaux

Written by Lisa Bradshaw