NEW DELHI: What began as a problem-solving initiative is promising to become a unifying movement for the outdoor advertising fraternity. The Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) has won the support of key regional advertising associations in its effort to standardise the credit norms for the industry, in the absence of which outdoor media owners (OMOs) were having to contend with long outstandings and payment defaults that seriously affected their business.
In a landmark move, the Delhi Outdoor Advertisers Association (DOAA) in its last meeting decided to take a group membership of the IOAA by which all its members would become IOAA members at one stroke. Stating this as a key milestone for the IOAA, Indrajit Sen, vice chairman, IOAA, & president – projects, Laqshya Media, told network2media that a few other key regional associations have also extended their unstinted support to the association for implementing a uniform credit policy.
The Maharashtra Hoarding Owners Association (MHOA) has assured complete support to the IOAA. Likewise, the executive team of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Bangalore has endorsed the IOAA credit policy and the association will soon hold a general body meeting (GBM) to get its membership to endorse the IOAA policy.
Sen said the IOAA is also holding similar discussions with the regional advertising associations in Hyderabad and Kolkata. “Our objective is to carve out a national credit policy for the outdoor industry that works as effectively as the ones implemented by the INS and IBF,” he said, adding that such a policy would bring about a sea-change in the outdoor industry.
Stating that the proposed policy is acting as a unifying force for the industry, Sen said that any criticisms leveled against the IOAA for single-mindedly pushing ahead with this agenda is unfounded as the association would be able to take up other large causes only after the credit issue is addressed. “We can keep talking about self-regulation and so on, but unless there is a structured approach toward doing business, this industry will not benefit in the long run,” he maintained.
When asked if the IOAA would take strong steps against any defaulting agency, he said that once the norms are formalised, the association will have a redressal system that benefits all the members.
It may be recalled that the IOAA has strongly recommended the need for the industry to go back to the system of gross billing that includes the agency commission, instead of following the current practice of net billing. The IOAA policy would also press for the issuance of release orders (ROs) before any campaign in executed and not just purchase orders (POs) which are often issued way after a campaign has been executed.