THIS WEEK: Outdoor hit by sinking spirits

The outdoor advertising industry is facing a bleak Christmas, with 50% of sites unsold as a growing number of advertisers led by spirits brands shift spend into television in the run-up to December. Other advertisers, concerned by levels of media inflation, are scaling down their spend.

The outdoor advertising industry is facing a bleak Christmas, with 50%

of sites unsold as a growing number of advertisers led by spirits brands

shift spend into television in the run-up to December. Other

advertisers, concerned by levels of media inflation, are scaling down

their spend.



Outdoor advertisers are now exploring ways to prevent the shortfall

happening again next year.



Francis Goodwin, managing director of Maiden Roadside, said: ‘Because of

inflationary pressures people have planned into cheaper periods. Next

year the fourth quarter will be more keenly priced with people looking

to get advertising for that period laid down earlier.’



Robert Ray, deputy managing director of The Media Centre, said:

‘Historically, the first two weeks in December are buoyant. Brands like

Bacardi are moving money from outdoor into TV. The accessibility of

national TV campaigns through satellite, cable and Channel 4 is

attracting cosmetics and fragrance advertisers into TV. It’s a big issue

for outdoor, and outdoor contractors are hawking around deals.’



The trend towards a slower fourth quarter can be seen from last year,

when sales increased by just 2%, compared with 6.6% in 1994 and 10.4% in

1993.



Last week the Advertising Association said outdoor advertising is

expected to increase by 12% to pounds 424m this year, bringing its share

of display advertising to 6%. Goodwin said that despite the dip in sales

for December this prediction would be unaffected.



In the first two quarters of 1996, outdoor grew by over 13%, maintaining

its position as one of the fastest-growing mediums. The industry has

benefited from product innovation and marketing initiatives, which have

built premium products. It has also gained from the fragmentation of

other media, according to Maiden.



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