‘Strong associations will solve credit issues’
OOH Clutter – The solution
Most importantly, Self Regulations and Ethics in Business are required. If these are not there, then the OOH clutter issue won’t be solved. In general, Outdoor Media Owners’ (OMOs) self interest takes over when they are putting media and they try to with their competitor’s media. In such a state if an OMO want to build his Media and he knows that putting the media will kill the other owners’ media, he will not stop it. There is is unfair competition. Yes, the situation can be controlled to a large extent, if the Civic Agencies take some action against the erring media owners.
Regulating the industry
There is a saying that goes, “World is based on Hope”. There are many people in Government Offices who believe in systematic working. For the OOH Industry to be regulated, Government Officers have to take the initiative for regulating the industry. We feel if the initiative is taken at the Central Government Level and not just the Delhi Government level, Regulations will take place and a majority of industry players will start following it.
Digital OOH will definitely take off in India, but not in the immediate future. It will take 7 to 8 years. The reason for this is generally in India, OOH media has been viewed negatively because Civic Corporations don’t get enough revenues. If the industry players are mentally prepared to pay revenues to the Corporations, then it will grow and Digital OOH also will come into action. OOH Media is exploited for commercial purposes by OOH media owners and the Agencies. When the Civic Agencies do not get good revenues why will they promote the media and allow digital OOH? For our part, we are encouraging all the members of Delhi Outdoor Advertisers Association to give the sites for public awareness campaigns.
Credit issues – The solution
These issues are solved at the Association’s level, and associations have done some groundwork because of which there have been changes, which are having a positive impact on the industry and on its players. For example, many clients have started paying their outstanding dues on time to Outdoor Media Owners. In Delhi, whenever an Agency complains about any issue which they are facing from their clients, or Government Officials, DOAA tries to solve the issue and in many cases, their issue has been solved. Because of strong association in Delhi, no client can hold the payment due to the outdoor media agency for too long. Despite this, whenever an outdoor owner wants to oblige the client personally by giving extra days for outstanding, they are doing it on their own, and the DOAA will not be able to solve those types of issues.
Measuring the medium
At present there is no scientific way or any serious initiatives taken to measure OOH in a way which all the stakeholders agree upon. But at the same time the reach of OOH is measured empirically by advertisers. The advertisers know that a display ad in a good Delhi newspaper will cost about Rs.5 lakhs (depending upon size) for one day, whereas a good OOH site costs average of Rs 1.5 lakhs for one whole month. Moreover, when the advertiser gets decent response, he repeats the campaign. The advertiser is happy with his ROI (Return on Investment) through OOH. Thanks to the value for money, more and more new advertisers patronize outdoor media These clients are those who have never advertised on OOH Media. Real estate builders, showroom owners, and retailers are going for the OOH Media. Now even religious gurus and political parties are showcasing their developments through OOH Media. My opinion is that if buying and selling are done at reasonable rates then the industry will grow and advertisers will automatically support the OOH media. When somebody takes the media at exorbitant rates and sells at still higher rates, advertisers cannot afford the media and the industry will suffer. So, it is advised to avoid cut throat competition. I would like to conclude with the fact that OOH Media is bound to grow and soon we will see new innovations and new media being put on show.
Mukesh Gupta CMD, Graphisads