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BY Eularie Saldanha

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The very phrase Out-of-Home challenges the Government advisory that has been urging people to stay home, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused major upheaval, especially for the OOH industry.

Even before the lockdown, which industry experts do consider necessary, the sector has not had the finest year, right from the BMC announcing the ‘no rooftop hoarding’ policy to the unprecedented stay-at-home situation.

Experts are of the view that the industry will see a 6% de-growth, compared to the last financial year, which in itself is a huge blow, considering the already sluggish growth it had been witnessing.
“We have taken this time to close some topical interventions around COVID-19, with a few more that are under implementation. I am coming to believe that the home environment is acting as a catalyst for fresh ideas,” says Fabian Trevor Cowan, Director, Posterscope India.
The loss to the industry has been massive, with companies pulling out of businesses worth Rs 20 crore in a fortnight.

The industry is looking at ways to tackle the situation by tightening its belt and being extremely cost-conscious. “We need to do justice to each one of our stakeholders, even while realising that our financial resources will be severely challenged in the immediate future,” says Mehta of Selvel One.

Other companies are using this time to focus on the future and plan ahead of time, by upskilling talent, reinforcing offerings, refining services, strengthening their back-end and reinventing their future approach.

The industry has faced a slowdown in the past due to factors like demonetization and GST, but bounced back soon enough. Industry leaders are confident that the sector will see better days when the crisis is over. “This time around, the outdoor media will bounce back and at a fast pace. In the end, I will say the only way out is to be patient for some time,” Gupta of Graphisads adds.

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Tags : advertising OOH Eularie Saldanha COVID-19 shutdown