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OOH.PH Pandemic Report - 180 days into the Quarantine


MAKATI City - By tomorrow, September 15, 2020, we will be moving into the 184th day of the Quarantine.  At the start of the quarantine, our industry was just priming its engines for a full year of OOH activity.  Prior to the week of ECQ implementation, I was presenting to a big OOH advertiser the plan for OOH measurement and why their existing inventory should be audited prior to renewal.

Imagine that, it was already March and they were contemplating renewal.  Thus OOH was off to a slow start for 2020.  On the week when the Quarantine was announced, my last meeting was with Summit OOH.  I was at their office in Mandaluyong explaining the methodology of the Audience Measurement Audit for the aforementioned client. 

I'm going out on a limb here to say it straight out.  None of the agencies have provided a credible means to determine the Daily Net Viewership of the sites booked for and in behalf of client.   The OOH buys are still based on assumptions which may have worked in 2001.  These are not applicable today.

Even before the pandemic hit, audience on EDSA was already reduced because of this so called friend "Waze".  Despite the traffic we saw on pre-pandemic EDSA, Waze has already been siphoning off audience into the side streets.

Then of course, Quarantine was declared and the drop in traffic was all so evident.  Metro Manila even breathed a sigh of relief from al the traffic.  Then of course came the domino effect.  Advertisers started pulling out their OOH placements.

I posted an article to the effect that if we as an industry already survived Milenyo, we will survive this pandemic.  Oh foolish me.  I wrote that thinking the pandemic was just a 30 day thing.

Today, we are into the 184th day and well into the Ber months.  The sad reality for the industry is this, we just have to cut our losses on some sites we own.  Six months without a client posted is really too much!  I have done the math and here is where the hard truth comes in:

The cut-off point to remember is this - 8.5 months.  At 8.5 months of vacancy, that billboard site, even if it will be booked for the next 24 months will only be at break even.  So let me rephrase that.  Break even over a total time of 32.5 months.  8.5 months no booking or "Vacant", then 24 months booked at pre-ECQ rates.

I am just spelling this out so that we can see the harsh reality facing the industry.  Hopefully, this quick post can help spur us to make the much needed decisions.

Mabuhay ang OOH sa Pilipinas!


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