Effects of COVID-19 on outdoor ad sector, lethal, disruptive — LASAA boss

The Managing Director of the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Prince Adedamola Docemo, has described the advent of the Coronavirus in Nigeriaas having lethal and disruptive impacts on her outdoor advertising space.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the Outdoor Advertisers Association of Nigeria (OAAN),  the umbrella body of outdoor advertisers in the country, recently, the LASAA boss noted that the ravaging pandemic had put a further strain on the embattled sector, leading to a further decline in revenue  accruing to the sector.

According to Docemo, the last few weeks, especially the period of the lockdown, had witnessed cancellation of existing orders and current campaigns, with many clients opting for a shorter campaign duration; a development he described as negative for the sector.

He, however, believed that despite the present lull in the  sector, which recorded a $125million growth in 2019, and boasts of over 100,000 workforce,  it could  still be re-positioned to enable it contribute its own quota to the  nation’s economic growth.

One of the strategies, he argued, would be for stakeholders to brace up for the new world the sector is likely to witness, post-COVID.

Docemo also argued that some of the old ways of doing business in the sector, such as offline/walk-in application, numerous approvals from state’s regulatory agencies, physical stakeholders engagement would have to change for stakeholders to be able to survive, and be part of the New Normal the industry was likely to witness.

Another resource person at the webinar, Mr. AlabaFadero, argued that since the pandemic would change business operations, around the globe, the survival of such businesses would depend strongly on their responses to, and management of, such changes.

The Executive Director of MediaReach Nigeria called for a ‘seamless integration’ between outdoor advertisers and their clients, to enable the two explore areas where they could effectively add values to each other’s businesses, amidst a shrinking marketing budget.

“Without doubt, the way businesses are run, around the globe will change. But the survival of any business will depend on how such business responds to those changes.

“For instance, conversation in this sector must change from ‘what I’m selling, and the number of billboards I have’, to ‘what can we do together to help enhance the fortunes of your business’,” he argued.

Explaining the rationale behind the event in his welcome address, the president of the association, Mr Emma Ajufo, stated that the event was organised to prepare members for the changes they likely to experience in the industry, post-COVID.

Ajufo argued that the advent of the pandemic would  put paid to some old ways of doing business, adding that it had become imperative for the sector to brace up for the emerging realities, or lose its relevance.

“COVID-19 has taught us the need to up our games, as professionals in this sector.  It has taught us the need to brace up for the emerging realities in the sector, since it can no longer be business as usual. And, the fact that we are even having this webinar is an indication that with the coming of COVID-19, it can no longer be business as usual, and practitioners in the sector are gradually bracing up to embrace those changes that are likely to come,” he added.

 

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