Message from the CEO

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When I joined the OMA in 2010, an area of business that was new to me, I had no idea of the incredible journey I was to embark on.

Fast-forward seven years and the advertising poster – big, small, traditional or digital – now holds a special place in my heart.

It is rare to work in an industry that not only provides so much in the way of growth, innovation and success, but that also allows us to be generous, to give back, and to use our business for good. These three pillars of innovation, growth and generosity are what motivate me each day.

Given how prominently it sits in our community, on our streets, and most importantly, near our kids, we are acutely aware of the power of OOH. It is a balancing act between representing and pursuing the business needs of our members, our advertisers and our economy, working closely with local, state and federal government to ensure that we comply with regulatory and self-regulatory commitments, and being respectful of prevailing community standards.

Relationship building is therefore a huge part of our role here at the OMA and will remain our key focus into 2017. We continue to work closely with our colleagues at the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), The Communications Council and the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Scheme to ensure that the industry’s system of self-regulation delivers high standards of compliance with industry codes of practice.

We work hard to honour the self-regulatory codes that we have developed or to which we are signatories. In 2016, the OMA introduced a new code, the AANA Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communication Code, bringing the total number of codes to which we adhere to 16.

By working together with industry and government, through providing content training and developing tools such as the OMA’s Concept Advisory Service, we are better communicating and enforcing our Code of Ethics. We are pleased to report that since 2011 when the code was breached eight times, no more than two complaints have since been found to breach the Code of Ethics in any given year.

In 2016, Outdoor advertising made up 5.49% of total advertising complaints to the ASB. Our track record speaks for itself and the percentage of complaints relating to OOH has almost halved since 2010. We are very proud of this, especially considering our industry runs over 30,000 campaigns nationally each year.

OOH’s ability to deliver the biggest audience via the power of the poster, while leveraging leading edge technologies that reach consumers faster and in more engaging ways, is undeniable. While print media struggles to adapt to technology, TV competes with live streaming and on-demand services, and online struggles with the proof of its metrics and ad blocking, OOH continues to become more and more relevant by integrating digital and online into our existing channels.

As OOH becomes more established in the city landscape – creating and enhancing public spaces – and as our populations grow, we know that our signs will be about more than just advertising, they will also deliver data. People want to live in vibrant, connected and accessible cities, and the OMA’s 2016 Future Cities conference addressed this by bringing together city thinkers and culture creators to help discuss the link between cities of the future and the utility OOH can provide to build them.

A big focus for the OMA in 2017 and beyond will be calling on the new collaborative relationships we’ve built with government regulators to find and implement smart-city solutions that benefit us all.

OOH is the ultimate canvas for creativity. Selected from over 150 campaigns, the University of Melbourne’s Made Possible by Melbourne campaign was named the 2016 OMA Creative Collection Grand Prix winner. The campaign was undoubtedly the best example of how OOH can be used by smart advertisers to engage audiences across multiple OOH platforms, complement mobile, and create an interactive experience that immerses audiences.

Our people matter and our members are at the heart of all that we do. We continue to work closely, and regularly, with the OMA and MOVE Board and committee members to ensure the success of our outputs, and ultimately, the industry.

Thank you to our industry peers and members for your support throughout 2016. Only with your knowledge sharing, generosity, hard work and honesty can we work together to build a better platform for business.

And thank you to the OMA and MOVE teams. You indeed live up to our values of being spirited and smart with tons of humour and heart. It was a hectic year but each of you made it seem like a breeze.

OOH is dominating a unique space. There is no other media channel that offers the immediacy and flexibility of digital alongside the power and scale of traditional print, that helps build cities of the future by providing utility to communities, while at the same time giving back.

OOH is most certainly the channel to be watching.

Charmaine Moldrich