UK OOH Industry Counteracts Citizen Opposition To Ad Spread With Report On Positive Contributions To Economy, Infrastructure

November 14, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The marketing body organized by top UK OOH media companies has a report out that counteracts the sentiments and advocacy of citizen organizations that oppose the spread of billboards on roadsides and advertising street furniture on the country’s high streets.

The report, prepared by the consulting firm PwC and commissioned by Outsmart, suggests the UK Out of Home (OOH) sector contributed £411m (about $500M USD) to support public services, infrastructure, communities and employees in 2021, that number representing 46% of its advertising revenue.

Outsmart is the marketing body for the UK’s Out Of Home advertising industry – with a mandate to inform and educate and inspire people to do wonderful things Out of Home.

From PR on the report, which is a free, no registration required download:

Over the last 14 years, OOH media owners have invested £1.1bn into installing and maintaining public infrastructure including bus shelters, free telecommunications services and even lifesaving defibrillators. OOH media owners directly contributed £188m in 2021 towards public finances through business rates and rent.

In addition, PwC estimate​s​ a further c.£29m helped support charities and communities by donations, heavily discounted or donated media space and staff hours given to charity.

The report, based on a survey of OOH media owners representing 92% of industry revenue, also highlights how the sector has increased the share of renewables to over 90% of electricity consumption whilst innovating to increase​ the​ use of recyclable materials. 

Tim Lumb​,​ Director of Outsmart​: “This report highlights Out of Home is not just about fantastic advertising, it​’​s also about investing in our relationship with the public by providing highly valued services up and down the country and supporting good causes.”

​​Andy Lobo, Senior Manager at ​PwC​: “The Out of Home sector has long benefitted both advertisers and local communities as demonstrated by the wide range of OOH media owner investments and initiatives – from funding public infrastructure through to celebrating and promoting diversity on advertising screens across the country. It is exciting to see the sector making progress at tackling a broader set of environmental and social challenges too​.​”

The participating media owners are Alight Media, Bay Media, BlowUP Media, Clear Channel, Global, JCDecaux UK, Mass Media, Ocean Outdoor and Wildstone.

Citizen advocacy groups such as Adfree Cities fight the spread of what they call corporate outdoor advertising in several ways, including opposing new applications for ad spaces at the local council level.

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