Advertising and sponsorship earned Sheffield Council nearly £1 million last year, it can be revealed.
Advertising alone generated more than £890,000 during 2017/18, a Freedom of Information request by The Star has shown, with sponsorship deals for so-called ‘highways assets’ like roundabouts, bins and welcome signs bringing in another £90,000.
The council is on track to make even more this financial year, with the latest figures showing it had earned over £720,000 from advertising in the nine months to the end of 2018 and more than £84,000 from sponsorship during the same period.
The true advertising income could be even higher, with the council saying it received revenue from other streams but this was not held in one central location.
The council refused to provide details of the biggest advertisers or sponsors, saying this information was commercially sensitive.
It revealed that political advertisements or the promotion of high interest payday loans were banned, but junk food adverts do not appear to have been outlawed as they have been by some local authorities.
The council has significantly boosted its income from sponsorship in recent years.
In 2012, it earned just over £95,000 from street advertising managed by JC Decaux, and less than £15,000 from sponsorship of ‘highways assets’.
The council has its own ‘Sponsor Sheffield’ Twitter account promoting the opportunities available at sites including Fargate, Derek Dooley Way and Hunters Bar Roundabout.
Companies which have paid to sponsor roundabouts and other sites range from a barbers and carpet shop to an accountancy firm and housing developer.
James Henderson, the council’s director of policy, performance and communications, said: “To maximise advertising revenue the council negotiated new contracts for street advertising with Clear Channel and JC Decaux.
“Those companies pay the council a rental amount for the locations, and in the case of Clear Channel a share of the revenue generated, and they have full responsibility for selling advertising on these sites.
“In addition to meeting Advertising Standards Authority guidelines for all advertising, the council additionally prohibits the use of these sites for political advertising and the advertising of high cost credit products, such as payday loans.
“As part of its agreement, Clear Channel allows the council to book small format advertising sites, which can be used to promote council initiatives or made available to a defined group of appropriate external organisations that meet agreed booking criteria.”
ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP REVENUE FOR SHEFFIELD COUNCIL
Advertising revenue #
2018/19 (to January 1, 2019): £728,858