Out of home has lost sight of innovation, says ex-APN director

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 9 January 2019
Tim Rose

The out of home (OOH) sector has been too focused on chasing monthly sales targets and has lost sight of innovation, according to former APN sales director Tim Rose.

Rose, who left the outdoor business before it was acquired by JCDecaux, also said the industry needs to solve the issue of measurement in 2019, as rates continue to increase.

Speaking to AdNews about the launch of his advertising consultancy Australian Outdoor Consulting (AOC), Rose said digitisation of panels to a billboard campaign is no longer innovative, niether are adding virtual reality and augmented reality components. Instead, innovation is now all about audiences.

“Despite all the advancement in technology, we are still unable to tailor a specific advertising message in real time to the exact audience in front of a specific panel,” Rose said.

“When this is achievable, and it will be soon enough, the industry’s growth will explode.

“The recent consolidation will reduce the timeframes involved with implementing automated and programmatic buying of out of home campaigns, which is exciting for any advertiser who seeks greater efficiency.”

Another key issue for Rose is around digital measurement and share of voice.

In April, key industry players such as JCDecaux and Ooh!Media, came together and put $10 million towards addressing the issue of metrics.

“All advertisers are keen to see the results of this investment,” he said.

“Share of voice has been a consistent and contentious issue with almost every advertiser since the industry moved to 10 faces per digital board in 2016.

“The only way I see this being resolved is with a reduction to six or eight faces, and I have heard some operators are planning on making this change in 2019.”

New outdoor model
Rose said the consolidation of the OOH industry was the catalyst for him to launch his business, Australian Outdoor Consulting.

In 2018 the French multinational JCDecaux acquired APN Outdoor for $1.2 billion, while Ooh!Media bought Adshel in a $570 million deal.

“In 2019, there were five major outdoor operators, but next year, almost 80% of the industry’s revenue will be written by just two businesses - Ooh!Media and JCDecaux,” Rose said.

“Many advertisers I have met with are concerned about what these changes will mean for them.”

Rose has seen media owners complicate what should be a simple transaction and argued operators need to make it easier to undersand and buy their inventory.

In its infancy, AOC has worked with clients such as Huawei, Harris Farm Markets, Mamamia, Revtech and an NRL team, which he can’t reveal.

AOC doesn’t work on a commission model, which Rose claims makes it the only fully independent consultancy focused on the outdoor sector in Australia.

Considering the Outdoor Media Association listed finance, communications and travel as the main growth categories for outdoor spending, at 9%, 15% and 18% respectively, Rose said he’ll be targeting these sectors first.

There are more than 3,000 advertisers who elect to buy their media directly with media owners, which Rose is targeting.
When working with Huawei to launch its Mate20 series, he found most advertisers were concerned about the pricing model, particularly around discounting which varied greatly from the different media owners.

He said the brand spent 10 times more than the previous year after gaining a better understanding of the process.
Looking ahead, Rose expects OOH rates to increase but that they'll be met with better audience measurement.

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