Outdoor goes from strength to strength

Outdoor advertising is enjoying a strong first quarter and, if demand continues, is on course to increase by 13 per cent in 1995, according to Concord’s first Outdoor Rates Monitor of the year.

Panel prices are up an average of 16.8 per cent year-on-year for January to March, Concord estimates. This compares favourably with actual growth rates for last year – now confirmed at 14 per cent.

Cars, holidays and the COI (for the Government’s electricity privatisation campaign) have all bought heavily in the first quarter, according to Concord managing director Alan Simmons. The National Lottery and pools companies, notably Littlewoods, have also boosted demand. “Car campaignsseem unusually early this year,” he says.

“Holiday activity follows a couple of years where travel companies stuck mainly to the TV and press. Now the tide seems to have turned.”

Other factors contributing to high advertiser confidence in the medium are more quality sites, new contractor packages and the introduction of Oscar II, adds Simmons. Restrictions on tobacco ads have also freed a number of quality sites previously tied into long-term deals.

However, Simmons offers a note of caution. “Contractors only have to keep up the momentum to achieve a 13 per cent increase on last year,” he says. “Strong demand does not just affect rates, it also has a significant impact on lead-in times.”

Forward-booking lead times for prime sites are as long as 14 weeks.

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