Outdoor Advertising

PDS has been specialising in outdoor advertising development and legislation since 2005 and it is the only consultancy that specialises in this field. We have made it part of our core business to understand the laws that regulate the industry which allows us to develop solutions to legal problems.

PDS has pioneered the development of Signage Masterplanning and Signage Management Systems in South Africa by combining its skills and resources with those of leaders in the field of Geographic Information Systems.


PDS consults to primarily property owners, which includes government, in the development and management of on-premise and third party advertising. Our services cover every aspect of the signage development process and in the case of third party advertising it includes knowledge of the value of different formats in different locations. PDS was instrumental in the establishment of BlueChip Outdoor, a media ownership and management company with a unique ability to deliver unique solutions. PDS adds legal innovation to BlueChip Outdoor’s creative innovation.

PDS will at no cost conduct audits of individual properties and property portfolios to determine the marketability and approvability of different signage options at the properties. Such audits follow a simple process of first determining what will sell and then what can be approved. Too often such assessments focus on only one of these components. Both have to be feasible for a site to have value.

Our skills in conducting audits in terms of the market and the law are unparalleled. Selling quality locations is far easier than securing their approval. We believe that property owners are best served by a service provider that can manage every component of outdoor advertising, not just the easy ones.

Prior to proceeding with any large scale audit we will require the conclusion of an agreement dealing with the management of the opportunities identified. Alternatively our professional fees will apply.

Signage Applications

Rights in respect of land were traditionally assigned and removed only by zoning schemes. By adding rights or securing higher rights the highest and best use of land is realised and the objective thereof is to improve the value of the land.


Whilst it remains true that only zoning schemes can assign or remove rights in respect of land, temporary rights can be assigned by other legislation that has the same effect from a value adding perspective. 


Since the early nineties two industries that have implications, mostly benefits, for property owners, have taken off at pace in South Africa, those of cellular communications and outdoor advertising. These temporary rights provide income streams that are discounted by property owners. PDS has aligned itself in the outdoor advertising market as a preferred service provider to media owners, property owners and government departments offering services across the board. 


In South Africa PDS currently operates in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London, as well as in numerous smaller municipal areas. Our most recent appointment came from Zambia. In these regions we prepare, submit and follow through on on-premise as well as third party advertising applications.


PDS prepares and manages its projects in house which means that all research and preparations are done internally. Computer based search facilities allow for the extraction of title deeds, surveyor general maps, ownership details, etc from any work station and our software allows for the preparation of the plans required on short notice and to high levels of accuracy. 

Signage Masterplans

PDS is at present the only South African entity capable of producing large scale signage masterplans and it is the only entity to ever prepare signage masterplans for cities and provinces. 

  • In May 2009 we completed the Cape Town 2010 Host City Decoration and Signage Masterplan. The brief required us to audit existing sites, identify and audit new sites, produce maps and ratecards, prepare technical specifications, develop a cost and revenue model and develop a Signage Management System. 
  • During the World Cup we were appointed to prepare the V&A Waterfront Signage Masterplan which is on the verge of being approved.
  • The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport Signage Management System involving the auditing of almost 6,000km of provincial roads as well as the development of a departmental outdoor advertising policy is currently underway.


The Signage Masterplan is simply a visual representation of the signage opportunities with their associated data. The geodatabase is where the information is stored and from where the plan is managed. 


A Signage Masterplan is not a wish list of random advertising opportunities but in its final form a collection of legally executable and marketable opportunities. The development of such a plan thus requires an intimate knowledge of the relevant legislation as well as market conditions and demands.

Signage Management Systems

The true value of developing a Signage Masterplan is the ability to convert it into a Signage Management System. It is no different from the systems used for property management. With the Signage Management System it is possible to manage the signage portfolio of a property owner.

By storing the data, or attributes, of advertising assets in a geodatabase you don’t only store physical feature data such as GPS locations, formats and sizes, but also financial information from which one can then efficiently respond to briefs and prepare management reports.

PDS pioneered the incorporation of GIS in the management of outdoor advertising whilst developing the Cape Town 2010 Host City Decoration and Signage Masterplan. All existing and potential opportunities were audited and recorded in a geodatabase which allowed for the linking of attributes to geographic locations.

A Signage Management System is of immense value to media and property owners.

To a media owner the value lies in rapid responses to briefs by the automatic generation of availability reports and ratecards.

To any property owner or manager the important issue is effective and efficient asset management and the system allows for that with press-of-a-button availability reports, vacancy schedules, format comparisons, year-end financial reports, financial projections based on past quarters or fiscals, etc. These can be developed in standard report or table formats, or they can be illustrated spatially by way of bar or pie charts on maps.