Business Today

BT Retro

     Print Edition: May 1, 2011

September 10, 2006

Coming of age
Then: Outdoor advertising in India may finally be coming of age. There are several reasons for this. For one, the definition of "outdoor advertising" has undergone a rather dramatic change. "Any advertorial content displayed at any contact point outside the home comes under the purview of this term now," says Sandip Vij, President, Optimum Media Solutions, the media specialist division of Mudra Communications. Adds Soumitra Bhattacharyya, CEO, Madison Outdoor Media Services, the outdoor advertising arm of Madison India: "People are now spending more time outdoors." The implied meaning: ads are simply going where consumers are. The outdoor medium, in fact, has always had the reach and is also, arguably, among the cheapest vehicles available. The major constraint, though, was quality. The evolution of large format digital printing solved that problem and now, even high-end marketers, are turning to the outdoor advertisement segment. "The outdoor medium has emerged as a significant alternative to satellite TV channels and the print media," says Bhattacharyya.

But historically, this segment has been controlled mostly by small-scale and locallevel hoardings companies and is, therefore, highly fragmented. But over the last year, some consolidation has started in this space. Agencies such as Kinetic (the outdoor media buying arm of the WPP Group) and Primesite (promoted by Mudra) are making significant inroads into this sector.

Now: Outdoor advertising is about 17 per cent of the Rs 266 billion Indian advertising industry. It is expected to grow at 12 per cent plus for the next few years.

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