The rise of 14.6% year on year (OAA figures) is well ahead of UK all-media growth, which stood at 7.8% for the quarter, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The two out of home environments which enjoyed the steepest rise in revenues were large-format roadside and small-format retail. The general election was certainly a contributory factor to the former, with billboards again being a political advertising battleground, but advertisers across a wide range of sectors likewise grew their out of home expenditure.
According to Nielsen Media Research data for the period Jan-March 2010, categories which showed significant spend growth during the quarter in out of home included retail, food, telecoms, computers, household equipment, leisure equipment and fashion, all of which shifted significant additional budgets into out of home.
The 10 biggest out of home advertisers in the quarter were COI (£8m), McDonalds (£3.6m), BSkyB (£3.6m), Virgin Media (£3.2m), Coca Cola (£3m), Vodafone (£2.9m), TMobile (£2.4m), Cadbury (£2.2m), Unilever(£2.1m) and Glaxosmithkline (£2.1m). No fewer than 32 advertisers spent in excess of £1m on out of home advertising in the first quarter.
Mike Baker, CEO of the OAA, commented, “It is good to see out of home on the rise after a tough year in 2009 where the recession dragged spending down, especially in the finance sector. Strong double digit growth puts us back on the right track. 14 of the top 20 out of home advertisers in the quarter (70%) increased their spend on out of home year-on-year, so I see that as an encouraging sign of confidence in the medium.”
Out of home advertising quick facts
• Categories which routinely invest above average in out of home (i.e. 9% or more of their advertising budgets) include entertainment and media, telecoms, drink, office equipment, computers and travel. That is again true in Q1 2010;
• Looking at the latest rolling 12 month figures from NMR to April 2010, we can see that 94 of the top 100 spending advertisers used out of home. The average annual investment in out of home for those top 100 advertisers was £3.65m;
• In the same 12 month period, all 60 of the top 60 advertisers used out of home. This shows a very broad based support for out of home across all categories. Advertisers are consistently finding a role for out of home within their communications mix to spread messages to young, mobile and affluent consumers;
• The top five spending categories in out of home (in absolute expenditure) are entertainment and media, telecoms, retail, drink and finance
• Digital out of home advertising revenues continue to rise, and accounted for around 9% of UK out of home spending in 2009
• Nielsen Media Research (NMR) figures and OAA figures are compiled differently. NMR measures spending by advertisers across all main media, but largely excludes out of home sales made direct to clients (i.e. not through out of home specialists) as well as sales on certain formats such as taxis and banners. The OAA gathers actual revenue data from their members, who make up around 95% of expenditure, and make informed estimates on the remainder.