General election pushes outdoor revenues up 14.6%

The bitterly fought general election has helped push UK outdoor advertising revenues up by 14.6% for the first quarter, with £204m being spent on the medium between January and March 2010.

Although the general election date was not formally announced until April, the Conservatives began their vote-winning offensive in January with a series of large-format billboards bearing the slogan “we can’t go on like this”.

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association, large-format roadside posters, along with small-format retail, saw the biggest rise in revenues. Retail, computer and fashion were among the industries that shifted budget to out-of-home media.

The COI, pre-Tory budget cuts, was the biggest spender, investing £8m in out-of-home advertising. It was followed by McDonald’s and Sky, which spent £3.6m each, Virgin Media on £3.2m and Coca-Cola, with a total of £3m.

The figures are published only weeks after the OAA named Mike Baker as its new CEO, taking over from Alan James.

Baker says: “Fourteen of the top 20 out-of-home advertisers in the quarter increased their spend year on year, so I see that as an encouraging sign of confidence in the medium.

Baker joined from Media by Permission, a media CRM company. Before that he had worked as European marketing director for Viacom Outdoor and international marketing and development director at CBS Outdoor.

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