There I was thinking that I was just being an old git when I raised concerns about the diminishing number of paper-and-paste 48 sheets nearly two years ago. It was one of those ‘wait, what?’ moments. I had been looking at panel universes for the UK over time (OK, I am a sad old git) and saw that some 10,000 48s had disappeared and that the only format to show a significant increase over the corresponding period was large format roadside digital. That significant increase took the universe through 1,000 sites. This was over the course of a two to three year period.
We can indulge in all the ‘six advertisers simultaneously, so the opportunities haven’t been that dramatically reduced’ chat that we want; the fact remains that 10,000 locations have gone and only 1,000 have arrived, either through conversion or new locations.
As a result, my sanity and my ‘grumpy old man’ status may have been slightly restored and marginally reduced, respectively, by the expression of concern voiced by the ISBA Media Leaders’ Group this week.
When you have the marketers responsible for brands such as Vodafone, Nationwide, Tesco, L’Oréal, Samsung and HSBC UK, among others, all of whom have made extensive and effective use of the medium, going public about the issue, surely someone somewhere will pay attention?
To put this into a more practical perspective… How about a nice 48 sheet campaign around Glasgow with 50 panels for £10,000 for a fortnight – or a 1-in-12 rotation on four, really nice, large format digital panels for one week for £2,000?
While we undertake both these types of campaign, one is getting much more difficult and the other is still expensive.
My view is that as long as more digital panels, but in far fewer locations and in fewer towns than 48s, makes sense financially for the media owners, it doesn’t matter what the ISBA Media Leaders Group says, never mind me.