Battle of the billboards on Ponsonby Road

On Ponsonby Road, the location of a billboard has got people talking. 

Lumo Digital Outdoor has installed a digital billboard at 182 Ponsonby Road beside the delicious Duck Island Ice Cream.

Though putting up a billboard is nothing out of the ordinary, this one is located directly in front of a JCDecaux billboard on a neighbouring site. StopPress went to the players involved to ask what was going on. 

Photo: Vaughn David (Twitter)

Phil Clemas, chief executive of Lumo Digital, said the company has an established relationship with the owner of the old Ponsonby Fire Station property.

“We have a couple of digital billboards on other properties in their portfolio. They approached us in 2017 to ask if we would be interested in developing another digital screen on this new site in Ponsonby.

“From our perspective, it was a no brainer – it is a great location, not only because of the large amount of foot and vehicle traffic on Ponsonby Road, but also the slow speed at which they travel.”

He says Lumo is all about delivering the “best media platforms for our clients to get their messages out to market, and this was the motivation behind accepting their proposal. The resource consenting process was exhaustive and took almost 18 months, but consent was finally granted last month”. 

Clemas added that the other billboard operator has “a right to feel a little peeved”.

“I get it. But I gave them ample warning and time to remove their billboard and relocate it onto another property. French-based JCDecaux are the world’s largest outdoor media business with annual revenues in excess of NZD $6.7 billion. I’m pretty sure they’ll be fine”.

When asked by StopPress if JCDecaux had any comment regarding the Lumo billboard and its close proximity, Mike Watkins, country head New Zealand, said “we were surprised and disappointed by its positioning. It’s not how JCDecaux would operate”.

StopPress also went to OMANZ for comment.

Natasha O’Connor, general manager, says the consent criteria for erecting any out-of-home signage varies depending on region and council. 

“When developing sites in Auckland we are all governed by the Auckland Unitary Plan, therefore, Auckland Council must have believed that Lumo’s site met the necessary criteria within this plan.

“OMANZ members work collaboratively when developing sites to minimise the risk of conflict with other operators and the environment around them, Lumo is not currently an OMANZ member”.

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