Post COVID-19: OOH ‘ll Be One Of Dominant Sectors, Says OAAN President

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….Advises Operators to watch out for Opportunities

President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, OAAN, Chief Emmanuel Ajufo, who is also the Chief Executive of Opportunity To See, (OTS) one of the leading new generation OOH firms in the country, has expressed optimism that the Out of Home [Outdoor Advertising] subsector of the advertising industry will be one of the dominant media sectors again Post Covid-19. He made this prediction  while having an exclusive interview with Brand Visibility, recently.

According to the OAAN boss, the first month immediately after resumption of business will be used by most clients to review their plans for the year and know what changes they need to put in place in order to catch up on lost visibility. “These reviews will determine how and when the advertising industry will become busy again. However, for our sector, one thing is certain, the audience will come back outdoors with renewed enthusiasm in our platforms, and herein lies our strength.”

Speaking on “stop-work” order on advertising activities by most of the leading advertisers, Ajufo said there is the need to correct the impression because the adverts on TV, Radio and other platforms that offer those sitting at home opportunities to see are still running a number of campaigns. “I think that it will be right to say that most of campaigns being run on our Out of Home platforms are the ones mostly affected” he said, explaining further that it would be more appropriate to say “most” and not “all” of the advertising orders were stopped. “This is because some clients still believe that even the few people that are exposed to our platforms during this lockdown are important to them.

Ajufo is however not unmindful of the basis for the stop-work instruction by those advertisers that have given such directives. ” We must understand why most of them gave the stop work order, one of our strengths, come from the ever active and mobile audience who are most of the day out of their homes in search of their daily needs; and now that we have all been forced to stay indoors this unique advantage is generally lost.” He was however  hopeful that the order would be temporary because “once the pandemic was over, the industry would try to do catch up on lost ground, and hopefully the stop work order will be lifted.”

On the general implication of this development on the advertising industry, the OAAN President hinted that the industry was already being impacted upon negatively; but emphasized that the Out of Home subsector was the worst hit. “We have a lot of stop work orders, and these have already translated into huge revenue loss by our members.

The executive council, Ajufo said, was however taking steps to generate a form of comfort for members of the Association. “A committee has been set up to properly articulate our sector’s losses and once this lockdown is over we will be in a good position to state categorically what we have lost, revenue wise.” He also disclosed that the Council was working on all other options that would serve as palliatives, or interventions for the members.

Advising operators on what to do in preparation for post Covid-19, the OAAN President said those still having clients should continue to service them within the limits of the various lockdown laws in the places they operate, and that they should continue to hold online meetings with their colleagues and even their clients as far as possible. He admonished his colleagues in the industry to invest their time in profitable engagements, such as seeking and acquiring relevant knowledge.

“This is when to take advantage of the lockdown to gather more useful knowledge. The client remains king even during this period. You should remain in touch with them so that you already have their mindset before we get back to work.

” I will also advise necessary bodily exercise so that your body and mind will be positioned to face the challenge of post Covid-19 days.”

On expectations from the relevant regulatory agencies, Ajufo said Government at all levels already understands that the economy is going through a very tough time, hence they are offering palliatives in various forms to help manage the fallout from Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, “it is based on this, that we believe that our own regulatory agencies will also offer us the support necessary to stimulate business come back in our very important sector of the economy.”

He further disclosed that, the compilation been carried out by the Special Committee of the Association was to, among other things, enable the association engage the signage agencies with verifiable details of members’ losses during the period of the lockdown, with a view to seeking the kind of support they would need from government through the regulatory agencies. “We hope that they will all understand and support us accordingly.”

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