Calls for the introduction of a TV-style trading system for the
outdoor medium have been given a cautious thumbs-up by advertisers,
according to new research from the poster buyer, Concord.
Debate has been raging over the possible introduction of an
industry-wide form of trading based on ratings data gathered from
Postar, the poster industry’s audience research system.
The trading system would mean the introduction of a currency akin to
TV’s station average price mechanism. A benchmark price would be set,
based on the number of people seeing a poster ad, as recorded by
More than half of advertisers said they would like their outdoor
planning and buying to be based on poster ratings, though agencies were
less enthusiastic. Only 40 per cent of agencies said they would welcome
a ratings trading currency.
The research was commissioned from Rosemary Taylor Associates among 56
key outdoor decision makers, including clients, media owners and
The majority of respondents felt the outdoor contractors themselves
would benefit most from the introduction of poster ratings. A resounding
80 per cent of contractors said they would like to see the creation of a
However, around 50 per cent of respondents agreed that advertisers would
be the most likely to suffer under such a method of trading.
According to Nigel Mansell, the managing director of Concord, a ratings
currency could increase revenue for the poster contractors, allowing
them to maximise the yield on a particular site or package depending on
who they sell it to.
The advantages of poster ratings were seen to be the ease of comparing
outdoor with other media, making the medium more accountable and
offering a better measure of the value of poster sites.
But Mansell, doubtful about the benefits of ratings, said: ’There’s a
real danger of compromising creative buying, and I think it would be
wrong to introduce a ratings currency until we get demographic data on