‘There should be poli­cies on agency pay­ment’

Outdoor Asia - - Media Owner's Take -

OOH Clut­ter – The so­lu­tion

Ac­cord­ing to me, OOH looks clut­tered be­cause the au­thor­i­ties give per­mis­sions for more and more sites. The ob­jec­tive of the par­tic­u­lar city Cor­po­ra­tion should be clear. Is the Cor­po­ra­tion look­ing at it as a rev­enue source to run the city? Ob­vi­ously the rev­enue gen­er­ated by OOH is not at all suf­fi­cient to run the city. So then why are they look­ing at minis­cule rev­enue and not the aes­thet­ics? And who will take a call on this -- the me­dia owner or the Au­thor­i­ties? If Au­thor­i­ties are giv­ing per­mis­sions and there is no end to it, then clut­ter is go­ing to hap­pen. There is no harm in hav­ing big sites but there have to be stan­dard­ized sizes. In In­dia; we have rules but we lack in ex­e­cu­tion. The big­gest prob­lem with this medium is that very few peo­ple un­der­stand the medium. In our coun­try, the OOH busi­ness has grown as a fam­ily busi­ness, not like a pro­fes­sional busi­ness. There­fore the in­dus­try needs to set norms to give it a more pro­fes­sional out­look.

Reg­u­la­tion of the in­dus­try

I think the in­dus­try can be reg­u­lated but it de­pends on the will-power of the au­thor­i­ties. As a me­dia owner, I am here to grow but how much will I be al­lowed to grow is in the Au­thor­ity’s hands. If the Cor­po­ra­tion is look­ing at aes­thet­ics then they have to con­trol the num­ber of sites.

Dig­i­tal OOH

Dig­i­tal OOH will work in In­dia. It has to take off be­cause we fol­low the West blindly for good and bad rea­sons. Dig­i­tal OOH is here to stay but why it hasn’t taken off in a big way is be­cause the client is will­ing to pay a par­tic­u­lar amount, not more than that. Af­ter in­vest­ing in crores, the client is still buy­ing the dig­i­tal out­door like he buys a nor­mal out­door. If you want dig­i­tal OOH to hap­pen then there is a need to ed­u­cate the brands also on the buy­ing part as they treat it like TV spot. Apart from this, there is not a sin­gle ven­dor across In­dia who sells the dig­i­tal medium in vol­umes -- for in­stance, 75 lo­ca­tions across 6 metro cities. If you want dig­i­tal OOH to grow at that level, you need to sell like that. That is, if one can go with the plan and guar­an­tee that crores of ur­ban In­dia is go­ing to see and back it up with re­search then the client will look at it dif­fer­ently. Cur­rently, we are talk­ing of one-offs, which is one LED at a mall or some mar­ket. To make an im­pact through dig­i­tal OOH, we need vol­umes.

Credit is­sues – The so­lu­tion

To be hon­est why can’t we have the pay­ment within 45 day or 60 day and if pay­ment doesn’t come from the agency or client, we can black­list them through a credit con­trol reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity. Credit is a big is­sue, not a small prob­lem and we can dis­cuss this for many more years. Yes, the brand uses for us un­lim­ited credit, they make sure press and print are paid and out­door comes last. I think this is where we have to push IOAA to have stan­dard poli­cies. It is fair to ne­go­ti­ate on the price and pay on the 60th day but there should be poli­cies ap­plied when the agency doesn’t pay. The prob­lem is that af­ter that they will go to an­other agency and take the cam­paign for­ward. There are clients who use agen­cies one af­ter the other.

Mea­sur­ing the medium

OOH needs to be mea­sured, but what mea­sure­ment are you talk­ing about? If a brand spends hun­dred of crores on IPL then is there any mea­sure­ment for that? IPL is a 45 day­bo­nanza, what hap­pens to the brand dur­ing the rest of the days of the year? To­day peo­ple hardly re­mem­ber the first page of any national daily news­pa­per -- the mea­sure­ment for that is the num­ber of copies printed. OOH medium is here to stay but the face of the medium has changed. We should look at the big brands who uti­lize this medium. For ex­am­ple Samsung is a real good ex­am­ple of us­ing OOH me­dia ag­gres­sively. Let’s ask the Samsung brand man­ager what mea­sure­ment he uses. They be­lieve in OOH and ev­ery­body has seen the re­sults. It is a brand which was a non-starter in mo­bile in­dus­tries but to­day it is a num­ber one brand. The mea­sure­ment is the fact that they are seen every­where, that is why ev­ery­body is buy­ing the prod­uct. Lots of brands are in­ter­ested in the out­door medium but the key fac­tor is how a brand sus­tains its pres­ence -- that is where OOH comes in be­cause it is a very cheap medium as com­pared to other mea­sure­able medi­ums. Yes we do need mea­sure­ments, but mea­sure­ment has to come with the price. To­day brands are cut­ting ad spends on the medium but they want the world from OOH. Out­door is a medium that works and is here to stay.

Jimmy K Subawalla Di­rec­tor Selvel Me­dia Ser­vices

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