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Show some love for Classic OOH: Tom Goddard, President, WOO

By M4G Bureau - May 30, 2022

A balance between traditional and DOOH would create another golden age of OOH, stated Sean Reilly, CEO of the US's Lamar Advertising

Tom Goddard, President, World Out of Home Organization (WOO)

Striking the right balance between classic (traditional) OOH and all-conquering digital is one of the keys to sector growth for the medium, World Out of Home Organization (WOO) President Tom Goddard told 400 delegates at WOO's Global Congress in Toronto.

OOH has recovered strongly from the pandemic when, said Goddard, sales "sank like a stone," but, like other main media, is still losing ground to the digital tidal wave. Classic OOH accounts for 63% of revenues worldwide despite the rapid growth of digital OOH.

Striking such a balance would create another "Golden Age of Out of Home" said one of the keynote speakers at the Congress, Sean Reilly, CEO of the US's Lamar Advertising, the biggest OOH company in the world by value ($13bn.)

Lamar is still a family-run company, founded in 1902, which has seen all the big changes in Out of Home, from messages glued to buildings to the digital OOH revolution. Still primarily a classic or traditional OOH company, Lamar now gains 27% of its revenue from the digital element of its estate, just 2.5% of its 356.000 displays.

Asking delegates, who included the world's biggest OOH media owners, advertisers and agencies, to "show some love," President Goddard continued: "Digital is an area where OOH continues to perform strongly and the focus of billions in investment. But we shouldn't forget the other key strand of Out of Home - Classic.

"We can rightly sing about the growth of Digital OOH and programmatic trading but when we factor in the fortunes of Classic OOH I am reminded of my school report which all too often said: 'Doing Fine But Could Do Better.'

"For sure, some of this is due to digital conversion but it still seems to me that Classic doesn’t get the love it deserves. You can’t deny that we have a much clearer vision for Digital OOH than we do for Classic OOH, which, after all, still accounts for two thirds of our global revenues.

"For example, we don’t even have a standard definition for Classic. We call it by five or more different names: Classic, Traditional, Analog, Paper and Static.  And the last name on this list – Static, is for me the absolute worst. If you Google it, you’ll find this definition: 'lacking in movement, action, or change, especially in a way viewed as undesirable or uninteresting.'

"Hardly a flattering description for what remains a hugely powerful and creative channel. And one which has a key role to play as we set our sights on a global sector media share taking OOH through 6% (its current share) to the level its performance for advertisers deserves."


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