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Clear Channel launches digital billboard network

LONDON - Clear Channel Outdoor is set to pilot a scheme to roll out the UK's first network of outdoor digital billboards in London.

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The locations include sites at London's Vauxhall Cross and on the high-profile Cromwell Road. The company plans to introduce the 10 digital screens in the third quarter of this year.

The billboards will use reflected light using sunlight in daytime and front-lit lights at night instead of the LED technology used across Clear Channel Outdoor's existing digital networks in the US.

The first trial will involve 10 48-sheet billboards deploying energy-efficient technology. The sites will be networked to carry multiple ads from six advertisers that can be updated instantly and remotely.

Barry Sayer, UK chief executive of Clear Channel Outdoor, added: "This is a hugely exciting pilot and represents a significant investment in the billboard medium by Clear Channel Outdoor.

"The screens will not only provide unparalleled flexibility, enabling advertisers to target audiences at different times of the day, in different mindsets with different messages, but they are also more energy-efficient than traditional LED screens."

The outdoor company is aiming to book exclusive one-year deals across the new offering. Advertisers will be able to run multiple executions that can be changed each time an advertiser changes its creative campaign.

Paul Meyer, global president of Clear Channel Outdoor, said: "We are very excited about this pilot, which employs a new generation of digital technology that furthers our commitment to make all of our outdoor displays as energy-efficient as possible. The knowledge we gain from this project and our existing digital networks in Cleveland and Las Vegas, combined with the additional digital networks that will be deployed during the second half of the year, will be invaluable in developing our long-term strategy for rolling out digital displays across our many markets."

The creation of the 10-site network is a further sign of outdoor's commitment to digital formats. Viacom Outdoor, which has just landed an eight-year extension to the London Underground advertising franchise, introduced digital escalator panels on the tube network in March last year. The screens have already attracted campaigns from advertisers including Sony Bravia high-definition television and The Independent. 

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