We started the year with little indication of the seismic shift that was to happen in our industry.

The acquisitions of Adshel by oOh!media and APN Outdoor by JCDecaux transformed the Out of Home (OOH) landscape and set the stage for a new era.

It is with sadness that we bid farewell to the two iconic OOH companies, who were leaders in their own right, and who contributed to the innovation of our industry during a pivotal period of growth. However, it is with great excitement that we look to the future and the opportunities afforded by consolidation: improving ease of buying and investing in new technologies.

Dynamic and future driven

We are an industry that embraces innovation and invests in technology and tools. As well as our investment into digital measurement, we are putting the final touches to our automated proposal platform which we began building two years ago: CORE (Centralised Outdoor Response Engine), to be launched in 2019, will improve the OOH buying experience and become the one-stop shop making it easier to buy and sell signs.

Bold and courageous

We strive to make OOH an industry worth following and we do this by delivering benefits to the community. This year, we updated our policy on where advertisements are placed, to ensure that products and services that are illegal for sale to minors are not placed within 150m of a school. We went one step further building
a mapping tool to ensure that our members are compliant with this policy.

We also embarked on a three-year partnership with DrinkWise to promote a campaign entitled ‘Children can inherit more than your looks’ to encourage adults to modify the way they consume alcohol around children. Our first $2.4M campaign reached 11M Australians in two short weeks, and our research tells us that 32% of people who saw the campaign, had a conversation about alcohol consumption with their family.

Setting the bar high

As our signs broadcast 24/7 and are seen by 93% of Australians every day, it is incumbent on us to meet all the self-regulatory codes that guide the content of our signs. This year we hit the jackpot and the advertisements we posted were 100% compliant with no breaches issued for OOH advertisements.

Giving back

It is a privilege that we are afforded the right to be big, bold and sometimes audacious in the public space and this fuels our commitment to give back to the community. We supported two campaigns which are highlighted in this report: National Missing Persons Week (p.28) and National Geographic’s Photo Ark (p.29). These campaigns bring the industry together and show our commitment to serving others. Our members also donated over $69M in media and services to a range of arts, sports and charitable organisations across the country.

Healthy optimism

Our growth, our investment and our commitment to working with communities makes it an exciting time to be working in OOH but it isn’t without its challenges. Particularly perplexing is our relationship with our major partner, governments across Australia, as they try to introduce category restrictions, without consultation or consideration for their unintended consequences.

What’s more, it’s happening at a time when governments are grappling with budget deficits and wanting to do more with less. Frustratingly these policy decisions which are sometimes made on the run without an evidence base could put our successful business model at risk.

We welcome a regulatory framework that is evidence based and the OOH industry remains strong, committed and focused on its contribution to the Australian economy, the community, its clients and most of all to the 93% of Australians who encounter our signs each and every day.

Charmaine Moldrich