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OMA reports record 2016 industry revenues as sector sees complaints dwindle

The Australian out-of-home advertising industry saw revenues rise to a record $789.5m in 2016, up by more than $100m on the previous year as heavy investment in digital signage continued to pay dividends.

OMA chair Steve O’Connor says digital now represents 40% of OOH media revenue

Improvements in the way out of home is being delivered has also led to a significant drop in the number of complaints being received by the advertising watchdog – the result of a concerted effort by operators to clean up their act through its pre-vetting system.

“Since the 2011 federal government Parliamentary Inquiry, the OMA has seen a significant reduction in the number of upheld complaints, particularly in the area of Sex, Sexuality and Nudity,” the report said.

“OMA members have gone from eight breaches in 2011 (before our Content Training Program commenced) to eight breaches in total from 2012 to 2016.

“Considering OMA members display over 30,000 campaigns nationally each year, this equates to less than 1% of all campaigns breaching any codes. This record alone is proof of a mature industry that takes its social responsibility seriously and understands the role it plays in the public domain.”

In 2011 26.35% of all complaints to the Advertising Standards Board about ads on OMA member sites were upheld, but last year that rate dropped to its lowest ever at just 5.49%.

Overall the OMA reported digital investment was continuing to underpin the sector’s growth with digital signage now representing 40.2% of all out of home net revenue, up from 28.4% last year.

Audience growth based on measures such as MOVE [Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure] has also outstripped population growth.

OMA and MOVE chairman Steve O’Connor said the role of out of home beyond being a mere channel for marketers was also increasing through the provision of elements such as street furniture and platforms for social good and sustainability.

“OOH already has a significant part to play in the ecosystem of our cities, yet we believe we will continue to play an increasingly more vital role into the future,” O’Connor said.

“As we lean more towards technological solutions in OOH, we will become providers of even more utilities, services and experiences for people traversing and transacting in our reconsidered and renewed urban spaces.”

OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich said the focus for 2017 would be on growing relations with government regulators to take advantage of “smart city” solutions being implemented across the country.

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