Feeling the pinch of the economy, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America canceled its national convention and trade show scheduled for May 17-19 in Miami. The decision followed a series of phone calls the OAAA had with its members to take the pulse of the industry and determine support for the show.
“Generally our members felt it was time to get back to basics and focus on the core business. This just wasn’t the time to be away from the office,” said Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer for the OAAA.
Although out-of-home advertising is expected to weather the recession better than most other media, outdoor media companies are hardly immune to the worst economy in more than two decades. Dependent primarily on local advertising, traditional outdoor media companies have been hard hit, with all three of the largest outdoor companies reporting revenue declines in third quarter 2008.
Pure play outdoor company Lamar Advertising revenue is expected to report a revenue decline of 9 percent in fourth quarter 2008 and issue revenue guidance of a 13 percent drop in first quarter, according to a Wachovia Report.
“We don’t expect the business to be above flat in 2008,” said Freitas.
Anecdotally, some national advertisers have found outdoor companies receptive to renegotiation of rates.