Apparently, these types of ads are called “kings.” Photo by intrepidacious, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
Currently, CBS Outdoor holds the contract for selling advertising on the TTC, but that agreement is set to expire at the end of 2011. On Monday, the TTC publicly put the advertising contract out to bid, and buried in the 170-page document that outlines the conditions of the bidding process is a request for all comers to be prepared to present business plans for, among other things, selling naming rights to subway stations and subway lines.
It’s important to note that the TTC is only beginning to contemplate selling naming rights. There aren’t any definite plans to go ahead with the idea.
“We’re simply interested in hearing what advertisers have to say on these kinds of issues,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross told us in an email. “Any decision on matters like naming rights would be a policy decision of the Commission.”
TTC staff studied the idea in 2008, finding that only a few other systems had tried selling naming rights and that they had done so “with varying degrees of success.”
Other new initiatives proposed in the bid document include 3D LCD screens, subway-car video screens, and subway station improvement projects funded by ad revenue. The document also signals the TTC’s interest in something called “digital kings,” which sounds like a name for some kind of council of awesome jewel-encrusted robotic TTC overlords, but is, disappointingly, just an industry term for the giant advertisements on the sides of streetcars and buses. Regular, non-digital ones are known only as “kings.”
Bidding on the new ad contract closes on May 19. The company that wins it will be granted a minimum twelve-year term, to conclude in 2023, unless the TTC decides to award a longer term.
Read the whole request for proposals here.
Hat tip to Joe Clark.