The outdoor media industry which is been passing through worst phase is in for another shock. With an impending bill curtailing the use of advertising to promote tobacco consumption, the tobacco industry, which is a huge outdoors spender, has turned cautious cutting down on long-term commitments.
According to industry sources the FMCG industry continues to use outdoor media as a medium, but the usage has considerably declined in the last two years. The tobacco industry in particular is being very cautious in its spending due to several impending restrictions.
Another reason for the lean patch is that against the background of the general economic slowdown, every rupee spent on advertising has to be justified. This makes it even more difficult to push for a medium such as outdoors since there is no scientific way of evaluating its reach.
With more than 2000 hoardings available throughout Mumbai, supply has definitely outstripped demand.
Internal competition emanating from within the industry itself has also had its impact. Companies are also looking at shifting from old to newer media and are also relooking at the way they did their outdoor advertising and media buying.
However with the basic nature of the industry being extremely volatile, with costs for a hoarding varying from Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lakh depending on the category and market conditions not all sites have been affected uniformly.
For example category A sites in places like Haji Ali, Marine Drive, Kemps Corner, Mahim Causeway and Worli Seaface always find enough buyers with price deflation being in the range of 30 to 40 per cent.
However the category B sites are feeling the real pinch with not enough takers and prices falling by more than 50 to 60 per cent say industry analysts.
According to industry experts, another reason why the traditional outdoor industry is going through a rough patch is due to the mushrooming of new outdoor media like building wraps, traffic umbrella cum kiosks and a host of street furniture like benches and even dustbins being used in promotional activities.
Earlier there used to be a situation of overbooking, right now there is enough of outdoor advertising space available.
This is also due to the fact that the number of outdoor advertising spaces have increased much more than the demand growth.
According to industry sources the medium needs to be researched much more than what is done at present which could help in the revival of its fortunes.