‘Let’s have a code of con­duct for the in­dus­try’

Sun­der Hem­ra­jani Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Times OOH

Outdoor Asia - - Media Owner's Take -

OOH Clut­ter – The so­lu­tion

I think there are so­lu­tions, but I think the so­lu­tions re­quire a lot of self dis­ci­pline by the in­dus­try. It is the in­dus­try it­self which causes the clut­ter. You can’t blame any­one else. There is a need for some self-gov­er­nance and self-dis­ci­pline. It is no use just blam­ing the Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion; we must look within our­selves. We should have a code of con­duct and mem­bers from var­i­ous in­dus­try bod­ies should sign on the code of con­duct. I think noth­ing will be bet­ter than that. Me­dia own­ers cause the clut­ter, some of them suf­fer, some RI WKHP DUH RSSRUWUQLVWLF DQG PDNH UHYHQUH DQG SUR­fiW through that clut­ter, but in the end the whole in­dus­try suf­fers. There is an­other di­men­sion to this clut­ter. There is a pre melt-down pe­riod and post melt-down pe­riod. In post melt-down pe­riod dur­ing 2008-09 and af­ter, the PDUNHWV KDYH JRW FRPSOHWHOy UHGH­fiQHG. (DUOLHU LW ZDV a sell­ers’ mar­ket which sud­denly be­came a buy­ers’ mar­ket. The prices went down and at large num­bers of lo­ca­tions, the prices still haven’t gone back to the orig­i­nal level, it is a de­mand and sup­ply is­sue. If you keep cre­at­ing more sites, you will not nec­es­sar­ily get more rev­enue. The me­dia own­ers have to fo­cus on the de­mand side of the busi­ness. If you go ahead in the curves in terms of sup­ply, you will land up in prob­lem and this is what has hap­pened to the in­dus­try. Much of the in­dus­try has fallen on the com­mod­ity track. I be­lieve less is more even for bill­boards. If we have aes­thet­i­cally built bill­boards at the right lo­ca­tion then I think the whole in­dus­try will ben­e­fit. The over­all rev­enue and in­dus­try will go up. But this needs a mind­set change.

Reg­u­lat­ing the in­dus­try

Some small steps have been taken at var­i­ous places like Mum­bai, where they have guide­lines. The prob­lem is the ex­e­cu­tion. I per­son­ally feel it is not reg­u­lated be­cause things are on ground. I find that the un­scrupu­lous me­dia own­ers al­ways find a way of beat­ing the sys­tem. I must con­fess that reg­u­la­tion helps, but still can­not solve the prob­lem. It is me­dia own­ers who can solve the prob­lem.

Dig­i­tal OOH

Dig­i­tal OOH on the roads is a dif­fi­cult one be­cause the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will not al­low mov­ing im­ages as it might dis­rupt the traf­fic. But I am sure there are best prac­tices in the world to deal with that. But to­day even a poster is not al­lowed which be­comes a bit of a prob­lem. If you just put it up as a poster, then me­dia own­ers have to look at the ROI be­cause dig­i­tal re­quires in­vest­ment. Fun­da­men­tally there has to some guide­lines. I think we need to study the dig­i­tal OOH abroad and see what is good for our coun­try and sit­u­a­tion.

Credit is­sues - So­lu­tion

We have an ad­van­tage be­cause we have as­sets which are ex­clu­sive so we can be very tight. But it is en­tirely up to the me­dia own­ers. The in­dus­try body can set up some norms, like what the IOAA has done. But who will im­ple­ment those norms? Only the me­dia own­ers and agen­cies. But agen­cies are still not a part of IOAA. So we are talk­ing to the Ad­ver­tis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia and try­ing to ar­rive at norms be­cause ba­si­cally it is the agen­cies and me­dia own­ers who can de­cide on cer­tain norms and if both agree to fol­low it, it will solve the is­sue.

Mea­sur­ing the medium

There are a lot of ef­forts hap­pen­ing from the in­dus­try’s side but it is tak­ing a bit of time. We on our own have taken a few ini­tia­tives that we will be able to share soon. Now the tech­nolo­gies are avail­able which we need to de­ploy, test them out and then pre­pare some pro­to­types and make sure we ex­per­i­ment with them. We are in the midst of those ex­per­i­ments. We will also be in a po­si­tion to mea­sure. Yes it is more dif­fi­cult to do it on the streets, but it is pos­si­ble. We will surely be able to do it on air­ports and tolls. But for this, we need some in­vest­ments and com­mit­ment from the in­dus­try.

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