Breakaway outdoor firm OOHMA re-enters fold

LONDON - The breakaway outdoor media organisation, the Out of Home Media Association, has collapsed just months after its creation and its members have returned en masse to the Outdoor Advertising Association.

OOHMA was launched in the middle of last year by rebel ambient media owners, frustrated by what they saw as the OAA's failure to adequately address their needs or represent them to the advertising industry, despite it receiving a growing share of advertising revenue.

However, the dispute has now been resolved with the creation of a new membership tier at the OAA called the non-traditional & ambient sector, giving members a new code of practice.

Alan James, chief executive of the OAA, said, "I am very pleased that we are now one family and I am looking forward to working with the new companies. I believe it is a natural development and one that will be greeted very positively by the media industry."

OOHMA had been beset with problems since it was formed -- initially there was a public dispute over how much the organisation should pay its chairman, the former Postar managing director Richard Holliday, and there were further problems establishing a code of practice.

Jessica Hatfield, the group chief executive of The Media Vehicle and a founding member of the now-defunct OOHMA, said: "We are in an age where media integration and media-neutral planning has started to become part of the innovative agencies mindset. By coming together we ensure that our original aims of increased accountability. More research and setting an industry standard becomes part of that planning process."

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