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By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

December 12, 2018 | 2 min read

Clear Channel Sweden has launched an initiative to guide Stockholm's homeless to nearby shelters during the winter months.

The City of Stockholm, together with churches and non-governmental organizations (NGO's) have opened 'emergency shelters' when temperatures drop to minus 7 degrees. Clear Channel will then automatically replace ad content on its digital billboards with directions to the nearest homeless shelter.

Fifty-three billboards have been activated across Stockholm for the pilot programme, focusing on areas that are known to be gathering points for homeless people, which will last over two months.

Clear Channel is trialing the OOH takeover as a pilot and hopes it may help in the growing issue of homelessness throughout Europe.

Depending on the success of the project, the technology behind the platform could be used across other European cities.

Ola Klingenborg, vice president of Northern Europe, Clear Channel International, said: “Our billboards are located where people are, and thanks to technology, we can develop solutions that can help both people and cities. This is something we see as an extension of our work in creating true value in the cities we operate in.”

The OOH project was developed by Prime Weber Shandwick on behalf of Clear Channel Sweden.

Hanna Belander, creative director at Prime Weber Shandwick, said: OOH media has never been more relevant. By using digital billboards, we are able to connect with a target group otherwise difficult to reach, while benefiting from an incomparable reach throughout the city. We are proud over that we, by having a value creation perspective on our work, have built something scalable that can make a difference”.

The OOH sector has a large part to play in the development of smart cities. In the UK and the Netherlands, for example, digital panels broadcast missing children alerts, while across European cities Clear Channel displays provide helpful information such as traffic or weather updates, Wi-Fi, or the levels of pollution

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