Frenchman Jean-Claude Decaux was working as a window cleaner in Lyon when, in the early 1960s, he had an epoch-making idea. Could advertising solve problems, instead of being a problem? By offering municipalities stylish and well-maintained weather protection, funded entirely by advertising, they could not only improve public transport but also solve the problem of littering from existing advertising posters.
The first weather protection system with advertising is installed in Lyon in 1964. The idea is quickly appreciated by citizens, municipalities and advertising buyers alike. Jean-Claude Decaux's small company begins to grow rapidly. He launches the concept of street furniture which, in addition to weather protection, includes fully automatic toilets, benches, street signs and newsstands. For Jean-Claude, quality is paramount. To design the street furniture, he therefore collaborates with world-renowned architects such as Norman Foster, Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Patrick Jouin.
"My whole career has been driven by a constant desire for excellence, a strong emphasis on design and an obsession with always, always using our advertising-based business model to serve the community."
- Jean-Claude Decaux
In 1999, Jean-Claude buys the media company Vivendi and JCDecaux becomes the world leader in outdoor advertising. The following year, he resigns as CEO and his sons take over. The company goes public the following year.
In 2006, JCDecaux wins the right to introduce a large-scale bicycle system with 18,000 loaner bikes in Paris - in fierce competition with Clear Channel.
JCDecaux is currently present in 3,400 cities in 85 countries. Its advertising reaches more than 340 million people every day. In total, JCDecaux employs around 11,900 people and is headquartered outside Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
In Sweden, JCDecaux started its first operations in 1989. It entered into an agreement with the City of Malmö to provide the city with advertising-financed weather protection, community information boards and fully automated street toilets. City after city began to follow Malmö's example.
In 1997, JCDecaux acquired all the shares in AB Förenade ARE-bolagen and the range was broadened to include sticker pillars and billboards.
Today JCDecaux is present in our 25 largest cities and has about 100 employees. In total there are 2500 weather protection, 80 fully automated toilets, 1500 community information boards, over 3000 waste bins and 1360 rental bicycles. In addition, Gothenburg has the most modern rental bike system in the Nordic countries.
En maintenance force of 85 employees ensures that all units are always clean and tidy. The good maintenance by staff with collective agreements guarantees quality all the way - a major reason for JCDecaux's success.