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‘OOH industry needs to focus upon consolidation, professionalism & transparency’

By Bhawana Anand - October 01, 2017

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO - South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, talks about the critical issues that underpin Indian OOH business, and advocates strong steps to leverage the growth opportunities. Edited excerpts of the interview:

Ad spends on Print/TV are evidently declining in different global markets, that presents OOH the opportunity to attract more advertising dollars. Are similar trends in the offering in India?

I don’t think in India any media is declining. However, the growth rates differ for different media. English print is growing the slowest, regional print is growing slightly faster, TV is growing a bit faster than that and then OOH is performing faster and digital is growing at the fastest pace. Hence, all media are growing at different rates. I think, the scope of OOH media to grow in India is tremendous as we haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg yet. There isn’t much correlation between TV or print growth spends and the growth of OOH. The issue lies with the OOH media itself, that it is underweight as compared to its potential, capacity and capabilities.

While lack of measurement metrics is an area of concern, are there any other OOH initiatives that will help the OOH industry to attract more brand spends?

The issue doesn’t lie only with the metrics. If this media has to become recognised as an industry, first the industry has to clean itself up. Currently, the impression about the OOH media is that it is very disorganised, unprofessional and filled with a lot of shady dealings. Some of these reasons came from the fact that it has to deal with the government on the side of procuring sites, etc., and unethical practices from many OOH players are suspected. So, I think the industry needs to cleanse itself to be taken a lot more seriously as compared to its current situation. I know some efforts have been started but a lot more needs to be done on this front.

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