Outdoor Advertising Agencies of Nigeria OAAN President, Mr. Tunde Adedoyin, speaks on the association’s activities in this interview with Afolabi Idowu. Excerpts…
Don’t you think OAAN as an association needs refocusing comparing the level of technology that has come into the business of outdoor advertising?
If we start from the issue of merger and acquisition that we cannot force our members, within the association, it has to come voluntarily. And the economy and times dictate that. As for OAAN, we have been doing series of restructuring that is why we are still surviving because there are other media competing with outdoor now. As we speak, some of our members are dropping their rates as a strategy for survival.
They are reducing their rates, even on Led, in order to survive. We have also told our clients that it is not everybody that must come on unipole or come on a large format. In the past, we had 16 sheets and A4 panels because there were some towns, when you look at the profit margin clients made in these areas, it did not justify putting up a unipole, even a 48 sheet billboard . A4 panel or 16 sheets could be sufficient, so that clients would not be spending more than necessary. But some of the clients have ego, they want to be seen as being big. They want to replicate what they are doing in Lagos and in other parts of the country. And most of the time it doesn’t pay because rather than having five 16 sheets in small community, the rate will not be up to the rate of unipole.
By doing so, clients could still get the same value that a unipole will offer. And this is part of the things we have been saying. It is not about the way marketing managers and marketing directors think these days because some of them get directives from their parent companies abroad, I mean the multinationals, which they may not want to change some of these directives even when you advise them because sometime it is difficult for them to push. Because some of these companies want a uniformed standard in all the countries they operate.
Do you think outdoor practitioners should employ data to drive their businesses?
Well, I don’t disagree with because outdoor knows what its represent. Outdoor remains the only medium you don’t pay for to view or to see. All other media, you have to pay and that is one of the greatest opportunities that we have. For example, if there is an advert in a newspaper, if you don’t buy that newspaper, you cannot view that advert. If there is an advert on radio you must purchase a radio set and put battery before you can hear it and so also television. But outdoor advertising is different because it is there on the street.
Whether you like or not, you will see it. Our clients know that a lot of masses, even the low income earners that they can see these billboards without paying anything for seeing. And that is why they cannot do away from outdoor advertising. And it is not something that lasts for a day or you destroy few minutes and goes off. The billboards are there 24 hours a day and clients have opportunity to change and refresh whatever brand you are putting on it.
You have seen it all in outdoor advertising business. In your suggestions, what are the ways you think you can move OAAN forward?
We have been trying to coordinate and looking at those areas that our members are not doing very well. We are trying to talk to members, government to help us to reposition this business because we are the only ones that have our structures on the streets which run into millions. So, government has to come to aid for us to be able to invest. Furthermore, our rates have to come down, multiple taxations have to stop and, of course, training, research which we have been doing must go on. For instance, sometime ago, we went to America to train our members and this is part of forward looking programmes.
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