Ooh Media boss stands firm in face of ad recession

CEO of Ooh Media, Brendon Cook, has told investors the company stands by its financial forecasts despite the spending weakness continuing to affect the wider Australian advertising industry.

Cook revealed at the company’s annual general meeting that bad news for the industry would continue with the next Standard Media Index survey, saying: “I note that the preliminary SMI results released yesterday indicated a double digit decline for Australian media revenues in April, following a 6.4 per cent decline for Q1.

Part of Ooh Media’s shareholder presentation outlining the company’s strategy.

“However, since Easter Ooh has seen increased activity for post election campaigns across multiple Ooh formats.”

At the time of releasing its annual results in February, the company forecast this year’s EBITDA would be between $152m and $162m, up from 2018’s $112.5m.

“We continue to see growth in the Out Of Home sector over the medium to longer term and are confident that we will benefit from this growth.” Cook told Ooh’s shareholders. “We confirm our guidance.”

Cook’s statement at Ooh’s Annual General Meeting is in contrast to Macquarie Media’s profit warning last week which followed WPP AUNZ interim CEO John Steedman flagging further declines in the ad spending and the Standard Media Index reported the sixth straight fall in industry spending.

Out of home was the only bright spot for Australian advertising in the most recent official SMI figures, with the sector recording a 2.1% rise in March while the rest of the industry declined 4.7% compared to the previous year’s spend.

In his address to shareholders, Cook outlined how the company’s range of formats would help the business manage the out-of-home market’s shifts, saying: “Our strategy continues to build all elements to deliver our goal as the industry leader to achieve 10 per cent of the total media pie for Out Of Home.

“oOh! now has ownership of all the required components to lead the market and drive continued category growth – multiple formats and reach, digital capability, creative and content, and audience data.”

Concluding his address, Cook struck an optimistic note: “I am excited to lead oOh!media in bringing to life our shared vision of re-defining Out Of Home as a public space media captivating, connecting and informing citizens. The investments made in 2018 complete the required elements to deliver our vision. Our focus in 2019 will be executing on it.”


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