Delhi OOH heaves sigh of relief as MCD considers a rebate plan

The draft plan is pending approval by the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation and may come into force in the next 15 days

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Oct 14, 2020 8:39 AM  | 4 min read
Delhi OOH

Hit hard by the COVID-induced lockdown and subsequent economic turmoil, Delhi OOH Advertisers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief as MCD is likely to come forth with a rebate plan in the next 15 days. The plan is in line with the appeal made by the Delhi OOH media owners in the month of May 2020. The appeal was made due to zero visibility, licence fees for media sites owned, the economic losses incurred due to the lockdown period and the severe dent in OOH ad revenue by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The OOH media owners had approached the civic bodies asking for a 100% waiver of fees for April and May. From June, they said, they would agree to pay for the sites that have already been sold to them. However, no decision was taken in the matter until now. Adding to their woes, media owners were being asked to pay rent for sites that have been leased to them by Delhi Transport Corporation as well, said a prominent OOH player.

Most OOH sites in Delhi have been either left vacant or been dismantled. Sources say OOH Billboards in locations like arterial routes, AMS South Extension Road, Ring Road, and Greater Kailash have been dismantled.

A standing committee was created in September 2020 to chalk out plans to provide relief to OOH owners due to the losses incurred. A source close to the appeal confirmed that the MCD comprising SDMC, EDMC and NDMC has taken most of the OOH owners suggestions into consideration and will come up with a rebate scheme for the same. The OOH media owners of Delhi have proposed a rebate on media license fees and submitted it under the OOH media owners committee. The draft plan for the same is pending approval by the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation.

Three civic bodies of Delhi have recorded total ad revenue loss and OOH ad revenue loss to the tune of Rs 100 crores. The OOH media owners have put forth various models to pay off the license fees for owned media sites.

The nation is in its unlock stage and even though the traffic mobility has risen, OOH hasn’t gained much traction from marketers and is still in a grim economic situation. The OOH owners are hopeful about this year’s festive season and waiting for sectors like Automobile and Mobile Handset once the big spenders on the medium to come back on billboards.

Atul Shrivastava, CEO, Laqshya Media Group sharing how this rebate plan will help with the revival says, "Fee waivers for OOH media had already been offered by the government bodies in cities like Mumbai. Delhi officials joining in is greatly appreciated by the OOH community. The OOH industry’s revival is going to need all the support it can possibly get, even as we see a lot of interest from our large clients. Hence, support from the government will boost the well-being of the media owners in this much needed time. With the concessions granted by the authorities, media owners can afford to offer discounted rates to commensurate with the temporary decrease in the traffic."

A Delhi OOH player off the record said, “The rebate scheme by the MCD will help us OOH Owners in the revival stage. Big-ticket events like the festive season are coming close and with the licencing relief, we will be able to get OOH up and back in action. This relief will also help us recover the losses due to the zero visibility in the lockdown period.”

Another roadblock is the COVID-mandated ads making a come back in the city. Many OOH players are in favour of the CSR OOH campaigns, however, these are done free of cost, which causes more revenue loss.

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