We have discussed various mediums of advertising showing slow trends in Pakistan. Today, I will focus specifically on outdoor media; where the situation is not different than other channels.
As per a survey that we conducted regarding empty hoardings revealed that at least 31 % hoarding and billboards businesses has fallen due to recession. On Murree road in Rawalpindi, from Fiazabad to Saddar, there are total of 200 small and big hoardings and billboards out of which 89 were found empty. Among these hoardings we noted that relatively bigger boards were FREE and available for TO LET. By the way, these large sized hoardings cost Rs. 7 to 8 Million per year on average.
Occupied boards were mainly featured multinational and telecom companies; in fact 8 hoardings carried Cellular products while one had Nokia handset on it.
Down the road, we observed that Chandni Chowk is worst effected region with 6 big FREE and Available hoardings. Similarly there were 7 empty hoardings at Laari Adda out of total 17 big and small hoardings there.
Telenor’s board on Jang Building retains its prominence; otherwise Mobilink has apparently invested heavily for outdoor with 68 Paisa promotion in Rawalpindi, Peshawar-Pindi Road and Pindi-Murrue Road. We know that Mobilink is displaying this 68 Paisa skins throughout the country with healthy visibility.
Through industry sources, we came to know that national, multinational companies and other local advertisers don’t bear handy pockets to invest in outdoor media during this recession. Resultantly there is a lowering trend in the hoarding rates.
We called “The sign 0300-8544331” (Number was found on multiple hoardings), where an official told us that market trends are clearly not good as they were before. Gentleman communicated us that hoardings which had rate of 10 million per year a year ago is now available at Rs. 8 million per year; even then we don’t have advertisers.
Recovery is the biggest problem now a days and even kanad (An advertising Agency) has over 7 crore in the market under receivables. Agencies are waiting and looking towards the government for their due funds… but we don’t see anything happening in this area in near future.
Mr. Riaz of “The Sign”, who has over 15 years of experience in outdoor advertising while speaking with us told that outdoor is in middle of nowhere – as we don’t see any direction, policy or strategy from Government to better the situation. “Due to cash crisis, I had to cut down my staff from 15 to 10 employees”, added Mr. Riaz. “Ad Voice” the second largest company for outdoor is undergoing almost similar situation.
In view of above mentioned situation, advertisers may find low priced bill boards. Other possible affects on BTL can be as following..
• Hoarding Pricings are dropping and may go further down if situation remains unchanged
• People from outdoor may move to other advertising fields
• It may take at least one year for outdoor business to recover from recent recession
• Cash inflow crisis is acting like poison for the outdoor industry
Let’s hope that the new financial year will bring good news for the businessmen and our economy.