Oscar II trial proves tough on audiences

Individual poster sites will “lose” as much as 80 per cent of their audience under the Oscar II research system, which went on trial this week.

The system, which has stricter visibility criteria for panels, estimates that traffic has to pass a poster five times before it is seen. But the research excludes pedestrians, who make up 20 per cent of outdoor’s audience.

Oscar II is being tried out by members of the Joint Industry Committee on Poster Audience Research, before rolling out to agencies and buying points in the new year, nine months late. The system includes 90 per cent of all roadside sites, and there are plans for research into transport advertising next year.

The research has so far cost 1.6m, 60 per cent of which has been paid by More O’Ferrall, Mills & Allen and Maiden Outdoor.

Sources hope it will be possible to set up an outdoor advertising bureau to sell the medium. “Most purchasing of outdoor has been an act of faith,” says Richard Holliday, director of the Outdoor Advertising Association. “It has been difficult to sell on value before Oscar II.”

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