'Ten days': IOAA and MHOA reach consensus on OOH campaign durations

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | February 24, 2010
The two bodies, along with agencies, have decided to fix minimum campaign duration for outdoor advertising at 10 days

We're not talking about the Celine Dion song Ten Days that actually fits with outdoor sites and goes, "Ten days have come and gone, ten days and I'm all alone, and all that I can do is, pray and pray, ten days I've seen the rain, comin' down on a sunny day, but all I've got to do is, pray and pray."

This is about the consensus that has been reached after many a discussion between the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) and the Maharashtra Hoarding Owners Association (MHOA). The two bodies, along with large agencies, had a meeting yesterday to discuss minimum campaign durations in outdoor.

The Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) is a non-profit organisation founded to promote, protect and advance the rightful interests of outdoor media and outdoor advertising media companies. It has been working on this for awhile and finally, the decision was reached at the meeting that outdoor campaigns will be entertained only if their minimum duration is 10 days, irrespective of the type of campaign.

Indrajit Sen, president, projects, Laqshya Media and vice-chairperson, IOAA, tells afaqs!, "We were in discussions for some time and it was a huge challenge to get media owners together on this matter. But it has been seen as a favourable step for the industry." He adds that it was important to do so as three-four day campaigns were very disruptive and this step will hugely benefit media owners.

Mukesh Gupta, managing director, Graphisads and general secretary, Delhi Outdoor Advertisers' Association (DOAA), tells afaqs!, "Some agencies have misused the medium, where bookings were done for more number of days but the campaign would be executed for lesser number of days." For example, 25 days would be booked for a campaign and only a 7-10 day campaign would run on it. He points out that the medium is very expensive, with corporations being paid huge sums. "Media owner's earnings come from long-term campaigns and this sort of cutting short of campaigns translated to huge revenue losses," he says.

Gupta adds that campaign durations have shrunk slowly from one month to 25 days, 14 days and eventually down to 3-4 days - and sometimes even a day! This, he says, has happened in the last seven-eight months but wasn't stopped as the outdoor industry had no regulations on this. However, now things have changed for the better.

In fact, this practice was rolled out in Delhi since last month, as discussed in a recent article on afaqs! and the same has now come into effect in Mumbai. While in Delhi, the duration was earlier set at 15 days, it is now being rectified to 10 days. Going further, the IOAA hopes to do the same in Bengaluru and Kolkata next, informs Sen.

However, not everyone is excited about the move. Sharing an agency perspective on the new rule, Mandeep Malhotra, senior vice-president, Primesite, Mudra's OOH arm, says, "The USP of outdoor used to be that inventory was available, so if I needed to do a tactical campaign that is whacky for three days, I could and I didn't need to shout for 10 days about the brand. That did the needful but this move is going to scare away campaigns like these."

He adds that this move jeopardizes one of his clients' campaigns in Delhi, who backed away from a bus shelter campaign after this new rule was set and invested his ad budget in radio instead.

Malhotra adds, "They are not sure about what they want and I think they should gain some clarity because last month in Delhi, they set the campaign duration at 15 days and now 10. I think the body is picking up issues that are not as important as streamlining the industry."

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