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Article on BusinessWorld

Businessworld, Vol. XXI, No. 44
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

The Economy

Outdoor advertising prospects cited

OUTDOOR ADVERTISING is expected to bite into a larger share of local advertising expenditure, as Filipinos become even more mobile.

Aptly termed "out-of-home" media, the effectiveness of this type of advertising should be clearer when accurate modes of measuring audience exposure are formulated, Nielsen Media Research Philippine Executive Director Gerald Bautista, said.

"We feel the future for outdoor advertising is very positive in terms of potentials, given the lifestyle of Filipinos. More people are becoming mobile they spend time out of home. The working and studying age — these are automatic targets for outdoor advertising" he said on the sidelines of a trade conference on out-of-home media in Makati City.

He said more advertisers are resorting to this type of media, citing a recent Nielsen study showing a 20% and 30% decline in volume of advertising on television and radio, respectively, from January to June this year, compared to last year.

Better metrics sought

"Outdoor advertisers now have a chance to get a larger share of advertising expenditure, on the condition they provide metrics or measurement to show effectiveness and accountability of a particular medium," he said. "There’s that available pool of advertising money that can be diverted to media that have available measurements or metrics to prove they are effective."

A separate Nielsen study conducted last year said 70% of Filipinos aged 10 years old and above got to see an outdoor ad "at least once in the past week," while 83% of consumers in Metro Manila, aged 10 years and above, get to see "at least one outdoor ad in any form in a week."

Billboards, meanwhile, outperformed other out-of-home formats, reaching nearly 60% of population every week, followed by street posters at 46%, shopping mall postings at 29.1%, supermarkets at 21.7% and transit advertising at 15.5%.

People aged 20 to 39 year olds, meanwhile, are more likely to see billboards, Nielsen said.

"The Philippines is actually a bit behind in terms of measuring audiences. We’re still doing traffic count and proprietary customized studies, while the Asia-Pacific region has moved into what we call diary measurement of audience exposure," Mr. Bautista said.

In the diary methodology, a number of respondents are asked to record their day-to-day travel patterns. Data obtained are used to estimate reach, frequency and opportunities for ads, including how many people are exposed to certain advertising sites.

Another measurement is the Nielsen Personal Outdoor Device, a global positioning system-based outdoor rating system that measures exposure to outdoor advertising in real time.

"We’re urging partnerships between outdoor organizations, media specialists and advertisers, to collaborate in terms of raising the standards in the Philippines by introducing this new methodology to measure audiences," Mr. Bautista said. "We’d like to ask industry’s cooperation in terms of giving us access to advertising information, so we can report it side by side with television, radio and print."

To be sure, outdoor advertising now accounts for just 2% of total advertising expenditure in the Philippines. But in Asia and the Pacific, it corners an average of about 4% of total advertising spend, almost equal to cable TV and radio.

"In any market, as soon as measurement is available, it dramatically improves capability of the region to take in more advertising investments. The more measurements you have, the more confident advertisers have in the medium, the more they can invest," Mr. Bautista said. — Bernardette S. Sto. Domingo

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