Cheeky sales pitch

JCDecaux mails bills to brands for ads snapped in Google Street View.

If you look long and hard enough, you can find the most bizarre things on Google Street View (just as patient Canadian artist Jon Rafman did here). Even ad agencies have purposely placed bizarre branded items in Google’s path for the persistent to track down. And more recently, outdoor advertising company JCDecaux and its agency BBDO Belgium went on a virtual hunt for its own billboards. Why? Because the brands on the billboards, forever immortalized in the Google images, have been using the media space for years, without paying a cent. So it did what any company would do (well, sort of). It sent the 53 advertisers a bill. The company took screen caps as proof, printed and framed the images, and sent them along with a detailed invoice. Knowing it wouldn’t get away with such a cheeky request,¬†JCDecaux let them know that it would wave the fee if the advertiser freed up 30 minutes to chat with their sales team about its digital billboard technologies. Suffice to say, some of the brands gave into their bluff, clearing their schedule to hear what they had to say.


Advertiser: JCDecaux

Agency: BBDO Belgium