Brands & Advertising
Regulators have helped Outdoor advertising to be more creative – CEO, Loatsad
Seyi Tinubu, whose investments span across energy, construction, agriculture, technology and entertainment is the CEO of Loatsad Promomedia Limited, an outdoor advertising agency which strives to deliver exceptional advertising services to its clients. In this interview, Seyi who received LLB from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom, in 2011 speaks on challenges the outdoor industry is facing, recession as it affects the industry and expectations for outdoor business as the nation inches close to 2018/2019 elections. Excerpts
Outdoor industry appears to be very hard hit by recession, to what extent would you say the industry was affected?
We are indeed relieved as there will be a greater chance for us to now cater to small and medium businesses, who will now have the capability to spend on outdoor advertising unlike before where activity decreased significantly. During the recession the outdoor advertising industry was hit heavily with say the cost of importation of digital LED materials increased affecting agencies and suppliers. The foreign companies also benefitted more because of the exchange rate and the running costs of businesses increased negatively impacting the whole industry. However, the nation has persevered and following the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) recent announcement that Nigeria has exited its worst economic recession in more than two decades, with a growth of 0.55 per cent in the second quarter of 2017. I see a strong and brighter future.
Do you see any signs of recovery for the challenged industry?
As stated before, yes, I definitely do see a future where the industry will make a complete turnaround and become sturdier. The economy continues to strengthen meaning that we are now able to plan ahead and forecast. Small and medium businesses can now regain their assets and will want to grow their advertising subsequent to the recession. Our clientele is ever increasing and yielding better results because of these significant economic improvements.
What are the expectations of the Outdoor industry as the nation approaches another election year 2018/2019?
Massive and robust successes; we aim to see steady growth in the economy in 2018. Whilst we do not neglect the contributions of other sectors such as oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing and trade in the economy’s recovery, we see the advertising industry adding to the improved performance and in turn outdoor advertising will prosper again.
Media debt is huge in between Clients and outdoor industry, how can this challenge be handled?
We are very lucky that we have worked with the most professional clients and companies; who have a great understanding of the industry. We have been able to budget wisely, restructure where need be and consider the economic downturn when we made decisions. At Loatsad Promomedia we always make our clients’ needs our priority. If clients are not able to meet payment requirements we come up with mutually agreed payment plans which accommodate the needs of all parties involved. We strongly believe that our business prospers as we help other businesses meet their strategic goals and objectives.
Another challenge besetting Outdoor is multiple taxation, how can stakeholders, including government tackle this challenge?
The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) has been very efficient in regulating and streamlining this process. Credit needs to be given to the MD of LASAA and other stakeholder agencies for their unstinting efforts to curb the major challenges associated with multiple taxation.
Regulators see Outdoor industry as revenue source instead of partners for economic growth and environment beautification, how can regulators and Outdoor build a harmonious relationship?
I do not completely agree that this is so, instead regulators have helped outdoor advertising to be more creative and stimulating viewership that has encouraged environmental beautification and economic growth. Additionally, the regulations have helped to create more job opportunities in the outdoor advertising world, ensure adequate spacing and site allocations among competing brands. LASAA holds regular meetings with practitioners and advertising companies to ensure synchronisation and harmonious work to find ways to function.
Some regulators recently came up with fees on vacant bill boards, which the industry opposed, what is the situation now?
In most economies across the globe, as time goes prices and rates change according to the economic climate, so it was only natural for fees to be implicated on the vacant billboards in order to cover certain costs concerning the industry. With that said, LASAA is addressing this issue in a positive manner.
Digital Ad placement by clients appears to be a major challenge to Outdoor operators, do you agree and how are the operators responding to this challenge?
Digital Ad placement is not a hindrance rather it finds its expression in outdoor advertising. Outdoor advertising will always be available, it is here to stay, and the digital aspect is only an enhancement to it. Digital ad placement works hand in hand with outdoor in many ways. Most people don’t know that you can use Shazam for example to identify brands on billboards and instantly get a result.
For obvious reasons, the Outdoor industry operate wholesale business while Clients prefer retail offers, how is the industry adjusting to this?
This is not completely true, different clients have different advertising needs, budgets and requirements. Some brands have yearly advertising plans from the onset and they can advertise for longer periods and some have smaller budgets and usually have one-off campaigns and shorter periods, which can be a month or two. At Loatsad Promomedia we are positioned to cater to the specific needs of all of our clients and we offer tailored solutions to meet their requirements within budget.
Suggestions have been proffered for M&A’s to grow Outdoor industry, do you agree and do you see this coming soon among the players?
Yes, this is true, for example our company started off as Loatsad Global, we later merged with Promomedia, a leading outdoor advertising firm, to form Loatsad Promomedia. This has yielded great results for us and it has been a positive outcome.
Could you tell us about your company Loatsad Promomedia Limited and what stands you out in the industry?
We are a young and dynamic company. We have built an unprecedented inventory of specialised outdoor and digital products and services, ranging from lamp posts in choice areas to the giant sized LED billboards.For us at Loatsad Promomedia advertising is not only about making money, but is also about bringing creativity and positivity to the Nigerian market place, creating new and exciting campaigns and contributing to the growth and development of Nigerian businesses from the smallest to the largest.
What was the intention/objective of establishing an outdoor business instead of any other marketing communication business?
Outdoor advertising is one of the majorly misunderstood communication channels. Our focus was to add colour to the presence and exposure of major brands. This explains why we go to the uncommon areas to show our creativity.
May we know your clients?
Our premium clients and partners include banks, FCMG’s, manufacturing companies, retailers, religious organizations and private companies. We do business with the most trusted and reliable organizations.
Looking ahead, in the next 5 years, where do you see Loatsad Limited?
Our 5 year goal is to penetrate the rest of Africa and create across the continent. We aim to be an internationally recognized brand, to be iconic and to deliver landmark locations to our clients.
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