2000 - 2014 The beginning of the future: consolidation within the Clear Channel group

Advertising where purchase decisions are made. Digital Shopping Media.

In 2010 Jürg Rötheli became the new CEO. Under him, all the companies in the group have been consolidated into Clear Channel Switzerland AG and a new, consistent corporate design  has been adopted. Opportunities in the field of digital advertising are evaluated with pilot projects before being launched on the marketplace, ensuring that specific target audiences are reached even more effectively. New marketing tools have been developed which are precisely tailored to the poster advertising medium. Clear Channel Switzerland is in tune with the times and embracing a pace of change which is no less challenging now than it was in the 1920s.

Zurich Airport offers state-of-the-art architecture and advertising spaces for exceptional campaigns and exclusive image advertising.

Recent years have seen an explosion of different media types and a flood of information thanks to the internet, which people can use at home, in the workplace and on the move. Clear Channel responded by expanding its portfolio, operating under the motto “tailor-made communications solutions”. The offering was continually expanded, including carefully selected acquisitions of competitor companies. In 2008 the Clear Channel Group was taken over by the private equity company Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. In 2009 the purchase of CAC City Advertising Company AG saw the addition of further lucrative sites.

2003: Zurich Airport's Car Park 6 boasts this megaposter covering 750 square metres and weighing 300 kilos. Over 1300 lugs secure it against the elements. Here in 2003, Clear Channel became the provider of the biggest permanent poster site in the country

The next change of name came about with the acquisition by the US outdoor advertisers, Clear Channel. In 2003, CEO Beat Roeschlin and his team acquired the biggest permanent poster site in Switzerland and an exclusive contract with Shell (Switzerland) for Clear Channel Plakanda. In the years that followed, numerous Swiss outdoor advertising companies were taken over: in 2005 the Clear Channel group extended its offering with the addition of the network of billboard sites then owned by Plakatron AG, and in the same year came the acquisition of Infotrak AG, then in 2006 Felice GmbH was taken over. The latter represented a significant expansion of the company's share of the megaposter segment.

1990 - 1999 Evolution into the media company Plakanda Holding AG

The new consolidated corporate look: customer documentation from Plakanda AWI in 1999, designed by visualix.

The 1990s saw advertising spread at an almost inflationary rate. In 1989, the family-run company was sold to Distral Holding AG and later to the Swiss entrepreneur Peter Gmür. Officially renamed Plakanda AG in 1991, the company enjoyed booming business, with the emphasis now placed on prime sites, maximum occupation rates and strategically planned, continuous growth. Negotiations with the authorities and APG regarding GK92, the city of Zurich's bill posting plan, were skilfully handled, as were the groundbreaking deals involved in the takeover of two competitors, AWI AG in 1996 and OFEX AG in 1999 ...

The Plakanda summer party: some impressions of “Festa Ticinese 1993”

The acquisition of Interpubli Werbe AG also followed in 1999. The major merger with AWI served to increase the company's portfolio by 10,000 sites, and the acquisition of OFEX AG, which had the outdoor sites at Zurich Airport, added another 4000. Plakanda was now the second biggest player on the Swiss out-of-home advertising market. By the time Plakanda Holding was sold to Clear Channel Outdoor in 1999, turnover had hit the 100-million-franc mark. CEO Beat Roeschlin ensured the boom years were celebrated in fitting style, with Plakanda's summer parties becoming an annual media industry highlight.

1980 - 1989 From small-scale operator to the poster company Plakat & Propaganda AG

Example of a distribution plan, for Special Display B12 on a reserved network in Zurich, 1980.

The 1980s saw the introduction of the fixed advertising budget and discussions about the tone and content of advertisements. Plakat & Propaganda AG responded to its customers' wishes and adopted an approach that focused more on custom solutions: randomly distributed poster display was to be complemented by selective display based specifically on objectively determined performance criteria.  By 1981 the company had increased turnover to one million francs. Corporate strategy had a clear focus: to maintain a sustainable portfolio, expanding outwards from its centre in Zurich.

1960 - 1979 Plakat & Propaganda AG breaks the APG monopoly on concessions

Two newspaper advertisements for Plakat & Propaganda AG in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1965 and 1971.

In the 1960s, the economic recovery that was the “Wirtschaftswunder” (economic miracle), combined with increasing internationalization and the shift in emphasis in advertising from product information to image advertising, ensured that operators of poster sites enjoyed further growth. After 50 years, victory in the “fight for the right to post advertising in the districts of Zurich” finally went to Plakat & Propaganda AG. The first district to grant the company the right to display posters on municipal sites was Zollikon, in 1964, and further successes followed as other districts also granted exclusive or partial concessions.

A large advertising hoarding at 12, Fabrikstrasse in Zurich, 1969.

The greatest of these successes occurred on 31 March 1970 with the award of the contract by Zurich's districts 6, 10 and 11. The 1970s brought technical innovations, the debate about a ban on advertising addictive substances (i.e. alcohol and tobacco), a detour into the provision of vehicle services, and, in 1974, the company's 50th anniversary and the takeover by René and Rosemarie Baumann.

1940 - 1959 Plakat & Propaganda AG: the pioneering years

“Das schwarze Brett des Plakates” (“The Poster Notice Board”), created by Plakat & Propaganda AG in Urbangasse at Bellevue square in Zurich, 1957.

Although manufacturing suffered a major downturn in Switzerland during the war years of the 1940s, advertising continued – even if only for the purpose of reminding consumers what products were still around. Plakanda was busy acquiring new advertising spaces, at municipal sports facilities, for example, and renewing and extending existing contracts. A campaign was launched, “Das schwarze Brett des Plakates” (“The Poster Notice Board”), and used to highlight the 35-year history of Plakat & Propaganda AG. The campaign was kept on, and served for many years as a highly effective marketing tool. In the 1950s, Zurich city council made Plakanda agree not to put up any posters of a political nature.

1920 - 1939 Plakat und Propaganda A.-G.: the founding years

Advertising hoardings in Bleicherweg in the Enge district of Zurich, 1938.

Plakat und Propaganda A.-G. was founded by Rudolf and Wanda Häuptli-Schillerin in December 1924, during the Roaring Twenties – a period characterized by the avant-garde movement in the arts and the emergence of massed-produced goods. The poster was fast becoming the main advertising medium and Plakat und Propaganda A.-G. expanded from placing advertising in newspapers and shop windows to displaying posters on private and municipal sites. The company's competitive spirit quickly became evident, as it battled for every single billboard site, asserted itself against the authorities – especially with regard to

Two changes of logo during the 1930s.

their regulations about advertising with posters – and refused to accept the dominance of its main rival, the Allgemeine Plakatgesellschaft (APG). This was accompanied by a change of name to Plakanda, which was adopted as the regular brand name from that point on. The name Plakat und Propaganda A.-G. continued to be used in legal documents as that was the official wording in the register of companies. By the end of the 1930s, Plakanda had acquired a new logo, additional billboard sites and an entrepreneurial new owner in Heinrich Erb, who had bought the business from the Häuptlis.