Formerly known as Primedia Ad Displays, Primedia Outdoor was established in 1994 as an outdoor advertising company focussing on the marketing and sales of advertising signage for media placement solutions in the outdoor environment.

Primedia Ad Displays was originally headquartered in Cape Town and moved to the present headquarters in Constantia Kloof, Johannesburg in 1998 when current CEO Dave Roberts joined Primedia Outdoor as finance executive.

Vlok Delport has been with Primedia Outdoor since 2000 as the projects and legal administration manager and has knowledge of the bylaws and regulations of outdoor advertising in South Africa. 

The late 1990s to the early 2000s saw Primedia Outdoor grow with further acquisitions and new builds across the country. It was during this time that the 3m x 6m rotational billboard known as Primelites became a formidable product in the industry.

Now retired, Piet Daniel started as the development executive and was later promoted to national development manager who was an integral part of Primedia Outdoor for 17 years. He was then contracted for a further three years.

Primedia Outdoor’s large format township holding, Mass Impact, created a stir in the market. The development team secured rights across all major areas of South Africa, allowing the company to build a holding of 6m x 4m and 9m x 6m structures throughout the country.

Johan Erasmus, who worked for Primedia Outdoor from 1994 to 2015 as an operations executive, chose 'Primedia Blue' paint for all the brand's structures across the country. To this day, the standing operations executive Ravi Naicker uses Primedia Blue to ensure the billboards are always maintained to the highest standard and quality.

Primedia Outdoor had from 1994 developed an in-house inventory management system known as the Primedia Inventory Management System (PIMS). The original program available at the time consisted only of a list of site numbers with their corresponding addresses.

All other functions were done manually. Over time, the first version of PIMS 1 was established, where client invoicing could be raised from the program and supplied to clients and then exported electronically for debtors collection.

The site rental program was also integrated, whereby site rental accruals and remittances could be raised directly from PIMS. With the development of PIMS 2, major enhancements occurred on the program to the extent that all reporting, presentations and managing of all inventory, as well as asset registers, can be done from PIMS due to the inter-departmental programming of PIMS 2.

Barbara Landman — who recently retired as the business information centre manager of Primedia Outdoor — and the current information technology executive Barry Van Zyl aimed to ensure that there was one source of accurate and detailed information for the entire company and its stakeholders.

Today, Primedia Outdoor has a total of 6 382 structures to sell — this constitutes a total of 23 140 advertising panels and digital slots all captured in PIMS.

2010 saw Primedia Outdoor beginning to take form as a leading OOH media provider in South Africa. Roberts was named CEO in 2012 and since then has led unsurpassed business growth and stakeholder value.

In 2013, ComutaNet was consolidated into the outdoor business. With intelligence and research, Primedia Outdoor was able to understand the dynamics of the commuter market through Wi-Fi measurement and qualitative research.

Donovan Francis, who has been part of the team at Primedia for 25 years as a quality controller for operations, says his biggest highlight working for the company was "connecting the Wi-Fi units to our structures in the taxi ranks to count the number of commuters within the ranks", as it was a leap forward in research for this market.

Bhamuza, a product built out of market insights and intelligence in the previously known bottom-of-the-pyramid market was completed in 2015 with 68 cantilever gantries erected in the densely populated towns of South Africa created further dominance in the outdoor industry for the company.

A big milestone for Primedia Outdoor was the consolidation of the Rest of Africa businesses into the company in 2016.

Today, Primedia Outdoor continues to be at the forefront of delivering engaging and memorable OOH campaigns across nine African markets:
  • Nigeria
  • Zambia
  • Namibia
  • Swaziland
  • Lesotho
  • Botswana
  • Zimbabwe
  • Mozambique
  • South Africa
The consolidation of the Primall division of Primedia (PTY) Ltd in 2018 escalated Primedia Outdoor’s position in the OOH industry into the mall environments. 

Spectrum, the Primedia company that was responsible for the technology and operations of the LEDs was consolidated into Primedia Outdoor in 2017. The township LED network has been developed further into five locations across South Africa. This year saw the launch of the largest airport roadside LED in South Africa, which was installed at King Shaka International Airport in Durban.

In total, Primedia Outdoor has over 1 000sqm of digital roadside display. The Rank TV digital product in the taxi ranks also continues to grow, ensuring Primedia Outdoor delivers digitised offerings to clients and the public across all the diverse markets in South Africa.

The 25 years of Primedia Outdoor’s journey has been the time of commitment, positive initiatives and exciting projects, all of which was accomplished together with highly-valued talent.

One of the employees who has been with Primedia Outdoor for over two decades is Brenda Ndlovu, who has gained experience by taking on roles in reception, finance as well as the business information centre. Ndlovu is currently a member of the company's production team and has taken the role of senior production coordinator.

"Primedia Outdoor has become my second family; it has opened doors for me that I have never thought were possible," she says.

In 2003, Primedia Outdoor empowered operational staff working at the company to establish eight dedicated teams and independent contractors across the country to manage operational processes in the different regions.

They were assisted in starting their own companies and entered into service agreements with Primedia Outdoor. Today, Primedia Outdoor continues to work together with these independent contractors to deliver outstanding service to all stakeholders and ensure its structures are always maintained to high standards.

Talent has played a major role with the digitisation of Primedia Outdoor’s inventory over the years. Primedia Outdoor values the global affiliations it has with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the World Out-of-Home Organisation, formerly known as FEPE.

Roberts concludes, "Primedia Outdoor wishes to say thank you to everyone involved in making our business a successful OOH media company. We look forward to continued collaboration and shared successes in the future."

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