Brands withhold OOH spends amid COVID-19 lockdown

According to early estimates, the sector could face up to 15% dip in business in the short term

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 8:44 AM
OOH Advertising

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a public health scare, its impact on businesses has been significant too. Now, companies across sectors are reporting losses in trillions of dollars due to the spread of the Coronavirus. If we look at the OOH sector specifically, the impact has been instant. With fewer people on the streets and now a lockdown in place across states in India, the sector is reeling under imminent crisis.

According to early estimates, the sector could face up to 15% dip in business in the short term. It must be mentioned that the overall OOH market size in the country is pegged close to Rs 5000 crore.

Speaking about the impact of COVID-19 on outdoor agencies, Anant Jain, Owner, Proactive In & Out Advertising said, “If I talk about the Mumbai market for example, the clients have started withdrawing their campaigns for now. The market conditions were already bad and the COVID-19 situation has further worsened it. If this continues there will be almost a 15 per cent dip in business in the short term.”

A similar sentiment is shared by Charanjeet Singh, Co-CEO, Kinetic Worldwide India (GroupM). According to Singh, the current situation has forced brands to push their outdoor campaigns to a later date. “Since there are fewer people on the roads, clients have started pushing their campaigns to later dates. Also, the fact that most companies including our sponsors are practising work from home (WFH), safety has become a bigger priority and thus campaign spends have taken a back seat for now.”

However, a top outdoor sponsor who did not want to be named said that these are just knee jerk reactions. According to him, it will take sponsors another 10 to 15 days to arrive at any reasonable decision as far as campaign postponement is concerned until then it's just wait-and-watch. “Nobody is withdrawing the money, we cannot take a knee jerk reaction. Right now, nobody, from vendors to sponsors know when the current situation is going to end. So, for now, it is a wait-and-watch situation with a lot of ambiguity,” he added.

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