Off the announcement of their latest figures, there’s reason for optimism at oOh!Media, boasting a 10 per cent increase to organic revenue.
B&T spoke with oOh!Media CEO Brendon Cook about the strong results, which he attributed to good organic growth with the core business, as well as contributions from Adshel.
“Basically, we’re in a strong position,” Cook said.
“We’re seeing that our audiences aren’t being pressured, and as a consequence, we’re in a position where we were able to deliver the clients the audiences they want with consistency, brand safety and transparency”.
Cook feels that this level of growth is sustainable: “We certainly believe that the medium can grow to 10 per cent of the media pie.
“As long as we can keep delivering the right sort of new data at location that helps advertisers make decisions to move into the medium, and as long as we can creatively make sure that we’ve got our own operating platforms to deliver that agile and fast for them, in a way that they need to today”.
He did advise, however, that challenges laid ahead for the industry, saying: “The big headwind to us is Q2, where we don’t understand what will happen to the market in terms of two big elections — state and federal.
“Because the out of home property is generally on government land and/or big private owners who don’t want political ads appearing on their property, we don’t benefit like other media does with political dollars.
“What we do see, generally in history, is a lot of advertisers hold their spend back through that period”.
When asked whether the advent of digitisation in out of home advertising had had a major impact, Cook was emphatic, saying: “There’s no doubt about it, because you think about it — what it’s allowed us to do is to offer different ways clients can use the medium”.
Now, a majority of ad copy comes in 24 hours before it goes to air, and as Cook put it: “That’s offering flexibility of creative differences to an advertiser”.
He was resolute, however, that modern techniques such as facial recognition in out of home marketing was to be treated with caution, stressing that consumer privacy came first.
“Out of home environments, you’ve got to be careful,” Cook said.
“At the end of the day, I think we’re going to be very cautious about introducing too many products that in any way, shape or form, give consumers the creeps”.
When posed with the issue of consolidation in the out of home industry — that acquisitions had shrunk the market, leading to a downturn in competition and that outdoor now came at a higher cost, Cook’s response was direct: “I think that’s just lies, to start with.
“The industry doesn’t cost more, and the outdoor industry’s extremely competitive.
“And anyone making those statements, that doesn’t hold up to any facts that exist.
“Just ignore it, for what it is — lies”.