Middle East offshoot of OVAB in works

November 3, 2010 by Dave Haynes

An offshoot of OVAB tailored to the Middle East and North African DOOH sectors is in the works, driven by Abu Dhabi Media Digital Out Of Home, a subsidiary of the government-backed Abu Dhabi Media Company.

The plans are being steered by Al Barq Digital, a new DOOH network focused on malls and other high traffic venues. The company just launched this summer and has started rolling out a screen network focused on very large shopping malls.

Says a release:

With support from OVAB Europe – the independent representative body of the European Digital Out of Home industry, Al Barq aims to mobilise the local industry with the creation of an OVAB organisation in the MENA region. Its mission will be to raise awareness and build reputation for Digital Out of Home as an independent and accepted medium within the media landscape; as well as promoting dialogue and knowledge transfer between relevant industry parties.

The company also wants to establish a new framework for measurement and standards, which has been a key part of the early efforts of the original OVAB (now the DPAA in the US) and OVAB Europe.

The initiative aims to establish a formalised standards and measurements framework, which will provide marketers with a better understanding of their ROI, and will give media companies much needed tools to prove the value of digital outdoor media to their clients and audiences. Reach alone doesn’t tell the whole story and Al Barq intends to combine the ratings with effectiveness metrics to provide a complete view.

Al Barq also plans to put together an industry report based on the expertise of local and international media experts, to “assess the current status of the Digital Out of Home market and gauge trends and growth opportunities in the region. DOOH cannot be judged only by the services that it is providing or the percentage of advertising spend allocated, ultimately it is about the impact and benefits it delivers to advertisers, brands and the consumer.”

“The broad spectrum of initiatives showcased signals that Al Barq is firmly on the road to becoming an established player, taking on a central role in the future growth of the digital outdoor media, by investing not only in technology, but in our partners, and our industry. Expect more good news in the future,” says Andrew Wood, Al Barq’s GM.

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