Nigeria’s Out-of-Home Media Industry and the Challenge of Compliance
The growing incidence of low compliance in the Nigerian out-of-home (OOH) advertising supply chain is a big issue for advertisers and other stakeholders in the industry. On the one hand, advertisers are losing media investment and hitting short of their marketing goals and objectives, while on the other, advertising and media buying agencies are losing big on billings and professional integrity.
Compliance in the advertising media monitoring parlance refers to the ability of the media owner or the media buying agency to deliver advertising campaigns in accordance with the agreed schedule of media purchase. One of the key measures of media compliance is the comparison of the number of spots broadcast, published or displayed with the number booked as spelt out in the media contract or media purchase order. A second layer of compliance measure is the assessment of quality which is most often impaired by mechanical or man-made errors or damages. And a third way to determine compliance of an advertising spot is an assessemnt of its location or environment. These are ofcourse in addition to the much more finance-driven media audit which some global advertisers conduct on their advertising agencies to track media rates, volume discounts and agency rebates, and ensure these benefits are passed back to advertisers in line with contracts appointing the agencies.
Compliance in outdoor and out-of-home advertising in Nigeria is tracked by independent third-part proof-of-performance agencies and usually include assessing the display of campaign structures and materials to ensure that they are where they were planned to be (location), showing the right material (display), and in the type of site approved by the advertiser (format). Other measures of OOH compliance may include the presence or absence of obstruction of view usually caused by trees, walls, abandoned vehicles, etc (obstruction); the general condition of the free-standing structure such as damage on any part of the billboard (structural defect); and the proximity of a display near or within prohibited radius of rescricted environment (e.g. a display for an alcoholic brand near a school or facility for minors). The worst case of non-compliance in out-of-home advertising is the incidence of sites not being found by third party media auditors (which could represent non-performance by media owner or buying agency).
A recent (Q1 2020) out-of-home media monitoring and audit report shows that about 1 billion naira worth of OOH investment, representing 33 percent of OOH advertising spend by advertisers in Nigeria are either not executed or are not properly implemented as planned and booked. The report analyzed 2,795 out-of-home sites spread across various industry categories including telecoms, beer, spirits, food, dairy, financial services and fast moving consumer goods with OOH assets scattered around the country which together account for an estimated N2.712 billion in the quarter under review.
Of the total number of sites, 577 sites representing 20.6 percent were completely blank (displaying no campaigns even though such was booked) while 291 representing 10.4 percent did not display the planned campaign but had advertising campaigns of other brands displaying. Other aberrations recorded include 208 sites (7.4%) not found even though the location of these displays were listed in the advertisers’ media plans; and 71 sites (2.5%) with aberrations ranging from obstruction by either folliage or physical structures, defaced/torn posters, and posters not properly tensioned.
Breaking down the non-compliance by region, Lagos accounted for over 25% of the non-compliance followed by the South-South region and North Central with 20% and 16% respectively.
The role of media owners
Out-of-home media owners who are the operators of the physical billboard structures play an integral role of displaying creative material from the client in the OOH advertising value chain and the conversation surrounding issues of non-compliance will be incomplete without them as they are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the advertiser receives quality exposure they purchased by minimizing incidence of aberration.
In the OOH media monitoring report, compliance data from 162 OOH media owners were analysed and of this number, only 45 percent recorded above 70% execution meeting general compliance standards while the average compliance in the quarter under review stood at 59%.
Do advertisers want savings from their Ad Spend?
Every advertiser expects that each advertising campaign executed is run at 100% to achieve the required exposure and brand marketing objectives. With the level of non-compliance prevalent in the Nigerian OOH media sector, the advertisers end up receiving less than 67% campaign execution, a development which defeats the goals of media planing and strategy.
The usual solution to this by clients and agencies is to plough back the non-compliance “savings” to new or subsequent OOH campaigns. However, this is usually impossible in situations where the campaign is time constrained or tactical.
Campaign execution in the OOH advertising industry in Nigeria is impaired with leakages like the ones identified in this report and if left unchecked ultimately leads to huge losses by advertiser and under achievement of advertising objectives. Fotunately, advertisers can access a solution that allows for near real-time tracking of OOH media investment and an opportunity to optimize OOH campaigns while implementation is on-going.
Are you launching a new out-of-home advertising campaign soon? Do you have out-of-home media campaigns running anywhere in Nigeria? Are you unsure of the status and condition of your billboards? Do you fear that your outdoor or out-of-home advertising budget may be going down the drain? It’s time to subscribe to TMKG Media Audit.
Contact us to get a free copy of the Outdoor Industry Compliance Report, or send an email with your name, company, role and phone number to: outsight[at]tmkgonline.com or