Sniffing The Air, Outdoors

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By the OMC’s Poster Boy

Today’s Guardian  reports that the ASA has upheld complaints against a Marks & Spencer outdoor ad for being “overtly sexual.”

M&S argued that they did not believe the ads were offensive or objectifying and that the ads simply featured the product – a lingerie range – that they were well known for selling. But the ad regulator disagreed saying “we considered that the image was of an overtly sexual nature and was therefore unsuitable for untargeted outdoor display, as it was likely to be seen by children.”

The ruling comes hot on the heels of a Downing Street meeting last month, where industry leaders – including the OMC’s Mike Baker – met the Prime Minister to discuss progress on reducing the “commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.”

In the wake of the government-commissioned Bailey Review, the OMC has been advising its membership on the use of raunchy imagery in outdoor ads and has also offered concerned advertisers the ability to request their work is not displayed within 100m of schools or other sensitive locations.

The ASA also issued new guidance for advertisers (here) which is designed to help make sure that out of home campaigns keep pace with the changes in public mood which the ASA and government believe they have sniffed.

Poster Boy is of the opinion that outdoor advertising almost always gets this stuff right – the industry knows its customers and recognises the responsibility that comes with displaying ads in a public space. But forthcoming research, commissioned by the OMC and carried out by advertising think-tank Credos – should throw more light on what consumers think the limits are when advertising outdoors.

As ever, watch this space.

Poster Boy

http://www.outdoormediacentre.co.uk/

Follow OMC on twitter @OutdoorMC

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Wispa Me Sweet Nothings

Uncategorized

By the OMC’s Poster Boy

As I hurried out of London last Friday morning – en route to watch my beloved Blues squander three more vital points at Nottingham Forest – my eyes caught a Bethnal Green billboard relaunching the undisputed king* of caramel-based chocolate bars for the second time in the last few years.

Most of you will remember 2009, when Cadbury’s gave away £2m of advertising space for Wispa Gold fans to share special messages with their loved ones. Thousands submitted ideas, with 900 appearing on 3,300 poster sites all over the country as the internet and outdoor combined to get people talking about a brand on a massive scale. In fact the campaign was so good that even the involvement of noted didgeridoo-botherer Rolf Harris couldn’t spoil things.

Fast forward to 2011 and Wispa Gold is back, again.

This snap was taken in central Nottingham, two hours by train and 129 miles away from the poster that had set my stomach rumbling on Cambridge Heath Road.

You don’t need a PHD in psychology to figure out what happened next:

Proof (as if we needed any more) that outdoor catches the viewer when they’re ready to receive it – in this case at elevenses. Lovely.

Two other bits of outdoor – both carefully targeted at the eyeballs of a Nottinghamshire audience – grabbed my attention as I wandered around the jewel of the Midlands. The first, for local radio station GEM 106, sits above one of the main arterial routes into the city on the side of two elevated walkways:

The second, for a car dealership, sits above the worst-protected goal in Championship history:

Not a great advert for Championship defending – but a good advert for Sytner BMW…

Poster Boy

* Crates of chocolate to the usual address. Thanks!

http://www.outdoormediacentre.co.uk/

Follow OMC on twitter @OutdoorMC

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Introducing Poster Boy …

Outdoor

Hello. My name is Poster Boy (no, really) and I’m the outdoor afficionado now in charge of the OMC blog.

I’ll be bringing you all the latest news and comment from the world of out of home media … and keeping a photo diary of the campaigns that catch my eye.

As I type this I’m at St Pancras, waiting for a train to whisk me away to the cafes, wine bars and wonderful French restaurants of the East Midlands. 

There is one iconic logo here that just demands your attention – and always reminds me why outdoor is such an effective medium. 

Those rings don’t have quite the same impact when you stick them on a leaflet, a web page or in a TV spot, do they?

Poster Boy

http://www.outdoormediacentre.co.uk/

Follow OMC on twitter @OutdoorMC

Join OMC’s LinkedIn group

And see what planners have to say on OMC’s YouTube channel