No budgets from Central Govt for OOH industry
By Bhawana Anand - June 12, 2020
Shrinking OOH audience a key factor in BOC not planning any significant spends on this media
The Bureau of Outreach and Communication’s decision to cut back any OOH spends in view of the Government of India’s move to clamp down new schemes has belied Indian OOH industry’s expectations of higher Government spends on the media. The schemes were pushed back by the Government in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and hence any publicity on such schemes had to be put on the back-burner.
“No plan has been shared by any of the ministry as of now with regards to promotion activities. However, there are still some plans on the chart to promote Prime Minister's Garib Kalyan Package but with no movement of people on roads, it is not viable to use the outdoor medium”, shares a reliable source with Media4Growth.
It is also shared that if required, OOH will be taken into consideration in the second phase wherein the mass medium like TV & Digital media will be used in the 1st phase of promotion wherein the rural campaigning will be done on the panchayat level for educational campaigns on Covid19 in the rural areas.
As per the figures as a response to an RTI, around INR 531.24 crore was spent on outdoor publicity in the period between June 2014 and January 2018 and annually INR 186.59 crore in the year 2016-17 and INR 71.42 crore in the year 2017-18. But, since there were no major announcements last year, OOH industry didn’t get any revenue from by any of the ministries in 2018-19, especially in the second half of the year.
Commenting on this, Anil Hirani, MD, Armour Digital, said, “It’s a challenge in these tough times as the government spending is one of the important sources of revenue for the OOH industry.”
He suggests that the government must design educational campaigns in the current scenario about preventive measures of Covid19. “I don’t think spending up to INR 400 crore on the advertising is a big challenge for the government,” he says. “They can actually utilise the CSR funds for the awareness campaign at railway stations.”
Adding to this, Amit Agarwal, Director, RD Outdoor Advertising, said,” DAVP spends are like a bonus for our business as its budgets are not confirmed and are generally very less in volume. Moreover, being a government organisation, the profit margins are low in their campaigns.” he adds.
Anant Jain, Director, Proactive In & Out, said, “There should have been some help from the government side in this difficult time as everybody expected a big support from them.”
In fact, the previous BOC dues aren’t clear yet, for which IOAA had made a representation in the month of April 2020. Anant shares that there are also payments pending from other government departments like MTNL, BSNL and etc.