The other day at Camberwell railway station I spotted two out of place advertisements – the first for a lawyer located in Highett, and the second for the Sunday market held in Bentleigh. Neither sign seems relevant to people travelling through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs by rail – so how did they end up there?
Both Highett and Bentleigh are suburbs located on the Frankston line, and at present three railway stations on that line are closed to passengers for level crossing works – Bentleigh, McKinnon and Ormond.
My theory – an advertising company sold space to the two pictured clients, but because the requested stations were unavailable, they dumped the signs at a station where they did have access.
If I was one of the advertisers, I would want my money back – why would someone in Camberwell be interested in traipsing all the way to the Bentleigh Sunday Market, or lawyer located halfway across town at Highett?
The company behind the advertising
Advertising space on the small billboards attached to Melbourne railway station fences is sold by a company called ‘Captive Vision’.
You can find their marketing spiel in their sales brochure:
Captive Vision Outdoor is an advertising platform offering businesses the opportunity to target their customers in a large, impactful way. There are a range of signage options available, providing a unique large-format display that is made from robust di-bond and produced with an anti- graffiti coating, enabling easy cleaning. The signs are continuously managed and maintained to ensure they always look their best.
- Broad market reach and high, efficient frequency
- 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week presence
- Geographically relevant locations
- A cost effective strategic add- on/extension combined with other media activity or as a stand-alone campaign
Captive Vision reserve the right to relocate advertisements to irrelevant locations, with the following clause in their terms and conditions document.
3.3. The Media Space will be as close as reasonably practical to the size and location disclosed to the Advertiser. Captive Vision Outdoor reserves the right to relocate the Media where, in Captive Vision Outdoor’s opinion reasonably formed, such relocation is necessary. The Advertiser agrees that it will not object, claim any compensation or credit or terminate this Agreement as a result of such relocation
They also cover their arse against road closures or rail shutdowns with this clause:
6.2. Whilst Captive Vision Outdoor will use all reasonable commercial endeavours to ensure, if applicable, that the Media Space remains on any route or thoroughfare (e.g. bus route, major road), the parties acknowledge and agree that Captive Vision Outdoor is not responsible for any changes to same and that any such changes will in no circumstances give the Advertiser a right to terminate this Agreement or otherwise make any claim whatsoever against Captive Vision Outdoor, including without limitation a claim for damages, consequential loss, anticipatory profits or indirect loss.
More examples of rail projects disrupting advertising
Back in 2014 I was checking out the progress on Regional Rail Link at Footscray platform 4 – when down on the platform was a forgotten advertising panel, still scrolling through a selection of commercial messages to a non-existent audience.
And before that, I paid a visit to the brand new railway station at Williams Landing. A tall advertising billboard was once located beside the busy Princes Freeway, but construction of the station footbridge blocked the view from passing cars, so the structure was pulled down.