Billboard owners block race horse rescue charity’s efforts to place ads

A charity focused on rescuing racehorses says it has had access to outdoor advertising blocked almost completely by outdoor site owners – despite the efforts of media buyers, outdoor operators and the Outdoor Media Association.

horsesThe Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses says it has been forced to adopt guerrilla tactics this year after a last-ditch attempt to book a major billboard site in Melbourne during the Spring Racing Carnival fell short.

While outdoor operators worked to find a suitable site for the campaign and the site owner had agreed to the placement of the ad, the plan was scrapped after the site was deemed too expensive.

Elio Celotto, campaign director of CPR, told Mumbrella while TV and print remained open to accepting the coalition’s advertising, outdoor had become impossible to buy.

“Now it’s very difficult to get the billboard companies to talk to us,” Celotto told Mumbrella.

“The owners of the billboard site have the right to pull it down if they think it’s unacceptable even though we may have a contract. That is within their rights.”they-aint-going-to-the-party

Since CPR managed to get a major billboard posted in Melbourne in 2014, only to see it taken down four days later and the coalition’s money refunded, it has struggled to find a place for its campaigns in outdoor.

“Since then we have tried taxi-backs, and taxi-backs initially said no, then we had a media buyer that pushed it and and they eventually said yes, depending on the messaging, and obviously our kind of messaging is not going to suit them because a lot of their clients are people going to the races.”

Glenda Wynyard, founder of Chaos Media which handles media buying on behalf of CPR said the unwillingness of site owners to agree to take CPR ads ran counter to the efforts of the outdoor site managers and even the Outdoor Media Association which she said had tried to finds ways for the charity to run its ads.

Wynyard said she had also experienced similar challenges with another Not For Profit client, Animals

“It really isn’t the representation houses, they often will accept advertising and then are placed in a position where they cannot deliver because of the building owner,” Wynyard said.

“Sometimes those building owners have a direct conflict with the organisation.”

She cited a recent example in South Australia of State transit, owned by the government, turning down ads.

“They tend to be the types of roadblocks that are experienced.”

Wynyard admitted the ability to get ads run could also be affected by how shocking the ad was, with taste and decency another hurdle.

“Outdoor is becoming more difficult,” she admitted.

horse-street-artIn the absence of any media this year, CPR will hold a peaceful protest picnic outside Flemington this week.

Celotto said the group was working on other viral content which would be released later in the year and in the absence of outdoor was using chalk-based street art to drive its message this year.

The Outdoor Media Association confirmed it had worked with the CPR to help advise it on creative that might be more acceptable to building owners.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.