Titan shorts CTA on payment for ad contract

Addison digital screens

We know the downturn in the economy blew a hole in the CTA's budget this year. Now we hear the recession is reducing payments to the CTA by Titan Worldwide, the company that places ads on the system.

The Sun-Times reports that Titan shorted the CTA about $600,000 the March payment of what should have been $1.9 million:

"Titan's revenues for the year are down 25 percent around the United States, and it has fallen short on payments to transit agencies around the country.

"We're in discussions with them on how to address it," said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney. "We expect them to meet their contractual obligation."

Yessss! And I expect them to meet their obligation too. That's the risk -- and benefit -- of a contract. If you sell more ads, you get more. If you don't, you get less. Kinda like what the CTA faces with the tax revenue. Except the CTA has no direct control over how much tax revenue it gets; unlike Titan, which actually has to make the sales. So stay firm, CTA!

Meanwhile, the White Sox at least are giving Titan a little more revenue, says Ed Sherman's Blog at Crain's:

The Sox also are using modern technology with video boards at 16 CTA platforms. They feature seven-second loops of a Sox game highlight. Again, it gives consumers something more to look at than just a static ad.

(Photo by Ben)

Filed under: CTA in the news

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  • "Meanwhile, the White Sox at least are giving Titan a little more revenue,"

    Don't count on much of that money making it to CTA.

    Those digital signs are a part of a separate no-bid digital signage contract with Titan that is (was?) supposed to see Titan pay the CTA $100,000,000 over 10 years. The digital signs are supposed to be at rail platforms, rail station entrances, and on the sides of buses. Huberman promoted this a a great moneymaker for CTA and an innovative communication tool for communicating with customers.

    In addition to advertising, the signs would also provide CTA information, such as delays or service interruptions, so peole could know about problems in service before they paid the fare. He held at least three media opportunities promoting this. The first one was over a year ago -
    http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Archive=y&ArticleId=203 .

    By April, Titan was scheduled to install the digital signs on rail platforms and at entrances of at least 20 stations. Media reports indicate they are at about seven stations, but only on the plaforms. Not much help in providing info to incoming riders.

    Also, by now, there should be digital signs on more than 100 buses. I bet there aren't even on 25 yet. Apparently, Titan has no immediate plans to install any more.

    I'd be curious to know if Kevin could find out how much money Titan has paid on this contract. And what are the future digital sign installation plans. And also, how much money Titan was short on the other months of the main advertising contract. The Sun-Times only mentioned March. Did they make full payments in Feb and April?

  • In reply to robertemmet99:

    In the Crain's article above, it states there are 16 installations broadcasting the Sox ad. Where did you hear they are only on 7? You only mention "Media reports", but not which ones.

    I hope they pay us our money. If not, maybe someone else can step in.

  • In reply to chris:

    "In the Crain's article above, it states there are 16 installations broadcasting the Sox ad. Where did you hear they are only on 7? You only mention "Media reports", but not which ones." - Chris

    Valid question, Chris. Despite some searching, I could not find a media report still online to support my quote. So, I tried to create a list of the stations that I'm aware do have the signs. There's a press release that says 47th redline has them. Tattler posts have referred to them at Addison and Sox-35 red line. I saw them at Roosevelt green line. I was told there was one somewhere in Evanston on the Purple line. That means my count is short at least two. Has anyone else seen them anywhere?

    However, in all my searching I found some really interesting information about the timing of the installation of these signs.

    In September 2009, on the CTA Tattler, and reposted on the Huffington Post, Kevin reported on Huberman's announcement that all CTA stations would have the signs installed in 8 months. Eight months have elapsed.
    http://www.ctatattler.com/2008/09/improved-rider.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/22/the-ctas-digital-upgrade_n_128295.html

    In April 2008, Tattler reported than Huberman said that CTA riders would begin seeing the signs installed within 4 months. We didn't see the first sign for 9 months and seem to be no where near completion.
    http://www.ctatattler.com/2008/04/digital-signs-a.html

    I'm not sure if Titan dropped the ball, or if Huberman overpromised (gasp!), but it seems clear that CTA isn't going to get the kind of money they announced.

  • In reply to robertemmet99:

    If I paid percentages of my bills, wouldn't I be in jail?

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