Features/ Opinions

Could it be end of an Era to Out-of-Home Advertising in Nigeria?

Over the years, out of home advertising in Nigeria has contributed immensely to the economic growth and development by creating brand awareness and building brand visibility and popularity.

In the last couple of decades, outdoor advertising has become prominent and the advent of technology has enhanced it further so that consumers can get the best out of it. The efficacy of outdoor advertising in bringing about a growth in the nation’s economy cannot be over-emphasized. This truth has been grasped by advanced countries with obvious results in their economic GDP..

Meanwhile, analysts believe that the out of home advertising sector in Nigeria appear to be at verge of collapse. For these analysts, one of the reasons for the set back in the sector is due to its numerous regulations and multiple taxations. The analysts also posited that, this statement seems ironic considering the fact that this same regulatory body and other similar bodies are partly responsible for this situation, as they are in position to make the outdoor advertising industry in Nigeria conducive for advertisers and business owners.

Findings also reveal that one of the reasons for the challenges in Nigeria outdoor advertising business is the current economic situation that has turned to be a torn in the flesh of most concern Nigerians.

For example, one of the major spenders in the sector- Nigeria Breweries slashed its outdoor budget from hundred to forty percent. Source close to the company told our correspondent that this could be due to the current economic challenges in the country.

In another development, checks shows that most telecom brands in Nigeria hardly place their advert on some of the digital billboard due to economic reasons. As a matter of fact, several billboards in the country have been vacant for a while now.

In an attempt to find out reasons behind that, a source close to some of the owners of those billboards disclosed that, business has not been good in the sector and that is why the sites have been vacant for a while. The source further revealed that maintaining that side along coast them millions of naira.

Speaking on this issue, former president of Outdoor Advertising Association Nigeria (OAAN), Mr Charles Chijide stated that lots of businesses have suffered and died as a result of the hostile nature of the outdoor industry in which they operate. This is very harmful to an industry that is still growing and struggling to survive amidst challenges posed by the nation’s economy and other competitive media such as Radio, Television and the growing online advertisement.

According to him, “the situation is worrisome, there was a time we held a forum to discuss the irregularities and issues facing the outdoor industry. We also made a commitment to modify the existing laws in the industry and enact new laws that will be beneficial for all stakeholders within the industry. Two years later, we still see various acts of misconduct and unnecessary taxation still prevailing in the advertising sector. Street Urchins (touts) still go about collecting money from billboard operators and nothing is done about it. Excess taxation and regulation from regulatory bodies and the government still hamper the successful growth of outdoor advertising in Nigeria.”

Continuing, he stressed that, these regulatory bodies as well as the government seem to be so focused on what they stand to gain from board operators without seeing the negative effect it is having on the growth of outdoor advertising in Nigeria. When compared to foreign counterparts, we are lagging behind in Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising in terms of creativity and technological advancement. Excessive regulation has dampened the spirit of many advertisers and business owners, preventing them from exploring the endless possibilities and potentials in the business.

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