Coronavirus and the OOH Industry
The coronavirus (covid-19) will undoubtedly have an effect on the Out of Home Advertising industry as a whole, but more likely within the individual billboard and advertising companies. And most of us, to some extent, are already seeing the side-effects of this virus as more regulations are set forth by the government to try to put an end to this pandemic.
The trickle-down effect…
With the regulations in place which recommend not gathering in groups of 10 or more, many restaurants, recreational facilities and events have been closed or postponed. Which translates into less income for those businesses. With less income, those businesses might cut down on their advertising to save money or “weather the storm”. However, we feel this will be only a temporary down-time and businesses will go back to advertising once the coronavirus begins declining.
If you remember this isn’t the first “pandemic” we’ve seen. In the 90’s it was Mad Cow Disease, in 2002-2004 it was SARS, in 2009 it was Bird Flu, in 2014-2016 it was EBOLA. Obviously, the coronavirus has been more widespread, but we will recover and there will likely be another pandemic years from now with a new virus and coronavirus will be yesterday’s news.
Handling advertisers that cancel/don’t renew…
The best thing we can do for our advertisers is to comfort them. We’ve been there for them in the past and we will be there for them when this subsides. Working with them, even when they have a binding agreement, may be more beneficial for both parties in the long run.
If your advertisers are restaurants, and they are seeing a decline in business, it’s likely they can still offer take-out and delivery to their hungry customers. Offer ads that cater to this service as a way to help them out now instead of stopping their advertising altogether.
Creative ideas like this will help keep customers and in turn, help us keep them as advertisers.
This too shall pass…
We hope that our fellow OOH friends will remain calm and keep their heads held high. Leave some toilet paper on the shelf for your fellow man and look forward to brighter days friends.