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2025 World Out of Home Organization Global Congress heads for Mexico City (Down Mexico Way)

The 2025 World Out of Home Annual Congress will be held in Mexico City from June 4th to 6th. This is the first time the WOO Annual Congress has been held in Latin America and follows the highly successful WOO Annual Congress in Hong Kong, its first visit to Asia, earlier this year over 500 delegates attended.

Helping to host the 2025 event will be ALOOH, the trade body representing Out of Home in the region. ALOOH  was formed in 2018 and both Gabriel Cedrone (ALOOH President) and Guillermo de Lella (ALOOH General Manager) are Vice Presidents on the WOO Board.

WOO President Tom Goddard says: "WOO is the only global media organisation that represents equally all main markets and it's right that we should now go to Latin America, a dynamic, rapidly-growing market in every respect.

"Mexico City is a fantastic venue and our 2025 Annual Congress will be a major stepping stone as we reinforce Out of Home's status as the most progressive and effective non-online global medium."


Automation to enhance OOH Measurability, Accessibility

Annie Rickard, Manging Partner of OOH Capital, steered a panel discussion on "Why Automate and Why Now?", with Ben Milne, Global Head of OOH Business, dentsu, Emma Hegg, Group Director – Platform Strategy, oOh! and Gavin Lee, Sr Director – Product, Broadsign

Annie Rickard, Manging Partner of OOH Capital, steered a lively discussion with industry luminaries who shared their thoughts on why it's time to automate OOH advertising transactions. The Hong Kong WOO Global Congress session on "Why Automate and Why Now?", moderated by Annie Rickard, featured industry experts Ben Milne, Global Head of OOH Business, dentsu, Emma Hegg, Group Director – Platform Strategy, oOh! and Gavin Lee, Senior Director – Product, Broadsign. Their contributions shed light on the critical importance of automating OOH advertising transactions.

Ben Milne expressed concerns over the prevailing perception of OOH advertising. Despite his efforts to optimise client investments in OOH, he noted a growing pressure on marketing budgets, compelling advertisers to seek more measurable investments. Ben highlighted the disparity between programmatic digital OOH and traditional methods, emphasising the urgent need to remove barriers and simplify access to OOH. He advocated for automation to enhance measurability and accessibility, thereby allowing advertisers to focus on advocating for OOH inclusion in media plans.

Ben Milne, Global Head of OOH Business, dentsu
Ben Milne, Global Head of OOH Business, dentsu

Gavin Lee echoed Milne's sentiments regarding the necessity of removing barriers hindering OOH advertising. He stressed upon the importance of collaboration in automating all OOH processes to simplify access and improve measurability. Gavin argued that by ensuring the benefits of OOH are easily measurable and accountable, the industry can bridge the growing divide between digital and non-digital OOH, capturing a larger share of the expanding advertising market.

Gavin Lee, Sr Director – Product, Broadsign

Highlighting the significant growth of Australia's OOH advertising sector, Emma Hegg revealed that OOH is currently constituting nearly 15% of the overall media spend according to the 2024 SMR figures. She emphasised the sustained growth of programmatic advertising since 2022, which now accounts for 11% of OOH media spend. However, Emma cautioned that not all programmatic growth is incremental, with some budgets shrinking. She stressed the need for industry-wide efforts to simplify and automate processes, reducing friction and cost.

Emma Hegg, Group Director – Platform Strategy, oOh!
Emma Hegg, Group Director – Platform Strategy, oOh!

Highlighting the significant growth of Australia's OOH advertising sector, Emma Hegg revealed that OOH is currently constituting nearly 15% of the overall media spend according to the 2024 SMR figures. She emphasised the sustained growth of programmatic advertising since 2022, which now accounts for 11% of OOH media spend. However, Emma cautioned that not all programmatic growth is incremental, with some budgets shrinking. She stressed the need for industry-wide efforts to simplify and automate processes, reducing friction and cost.

Urging the importance of collaboration between media vendors, technology partners, and agencies, Emma said that stakeholders need to come together to address the unique challenges faced by OOH vendors. She underscored the lack of global standards and fragmented approaches to audience measurement as obstacles to automation. To realise the full potential of OOH advertising, she called for unified industry standards, collaboration with technology partners, and the development of platforms that add value across the value chain.

Reiterating the imperative for OOH advertising growth, Gavin stressed the need to attract more advertisers and boost their spending. He spotlighted the inefficiencies in managing numerous small campaigns compared to larger ones and pushed for a reassessment of minimum booking thresholds. Gavin also underscored the significance of industry collaboration, standardisation, and leveraging existing infrastructure to streamline processes and optimise OOH's role in omnichannel solutions.

Pushing for a re-evaluation of booking thresholds and emphasis on industry collaboration, Gavin highlight the need to adjust to shifting market dynamics. Rickard's closing remarks serve as a rallying cry for the industry to embrace automation and foster a collaborative culture to propel OOH advertising forward.

Also Ben's concerns regarding the perception of OOH advertising resonated with advertisers under mounting pressure to justify marketing expenditures. The industry's pivot towards programmatic digital OOH accentuated the necessity to adapt and modernise traditional practices. However, challenges persist, as underscored by Emma, particularly concerning standardisation and audience measurement. Collaboration emerges as a central theme, urging stakeholders to collaborate to drive innovation and overcome hurdles.

Annie wrapped up the session by underlining the critical role of collaboration and automation in the OOH advertising realm. She recognised the advanced tools and data in use but pointed out the lack of platform connectivity and continued dependence on manual labour. She emphasised the widening gap between digital and non-digital OOH, emphasising the urgency to unify and leverage technology for cost reduction and efficiency enhancement.



World Out of Home Organization announces individual, creative, sustainability and technical innovation awards at Hong Kong Global Congress.

The World Out of Home organization has announced the Award Winners for Individuals, Digital and Classic Creative, Sustainability and Technical Innovation at its Global Congress in Hong Kong, held on June 5 – 7.

The Technical Innovation Award was chosen from a shortlist of three by delegates at the Congress.

The Sustainability Award is in its second year after its inauguration at the Lisbon Congress last year, reflecting the organizations’s redoubling of its drive towards net zero.

Lifetime Achievement: Bengt (Benji) Bendeus, BackLite Media

Leadership: Christian Schmalzl, Ströer SE & Co. KGaA

Rising Star: Laurie McAllister, Talon

🏆 Creative Awards:

Classic Creative Award: Lux / Unilever Levant, Pimo Group / Pikasso

Digital Creative Award: Best Coke Ever: The Giant Vending Machine, Ocean Outdoor Labs / WPP / Moving Images

Technical Innovation Award:Winner: Can you have a conversation with the memories of the city?, LIVE BOARD,INC. BOARD INC

Sustainability Award:Winner: Ecobanner, OOH!

Chair of Judges Award: "Guarded Bus Stop", Eletromidia

Chair of judges Matthew Dearden of Alight Media says: "This year we had more entries than ever for our awards and, crucially, of a high standard.

"The awards exist to celebrate the great work and people in our global industry, those who have already achieved a great deal and those who are embarking on that particular path, plus highlighting vital global issues including sustainability. Through this celebration they inspire, challenge and energise us all to stretch ourselves and grow in the right way.

“I created the Chair’s award to recognise an outstanding entry that the judges loved and that deserves its own category.

"It was tough choosing between so many outstanding entries and I'd like to thank my fellow judges for their hard work, wisdom and commitment to the cause of an even more effective Out of Home medium."


OOH has unique ability to deliver high-impact visuals

At the WOO Global Congress in Hong Kong, Jas Cai, Media Director and Chief Expert at Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) Marketing Procurement, presented a compelling case for the strategic use of Out-of-Home (OOH) media in enhancing consumer mindset. Her insights underscored how targeted, innovative, and premium OOH media placements can significantly influence consumer perceptions and drive brand engagement.

The role of OOH media in consumer engagement

OOH media is a powerful tool for capturing consumer attention in diverse environments. Jas emphasised that OOH media's broad reach and high visibility make it an ideal platform for brands looking to enhance their presence and resonate with their target audience. For Huawei, this has meant leveraging OOH media to create a premium brand image that aligns with their cutting-edge technology and high-quality products.

Strategic investment in premium OOH media

Huawei has strategically invested in premium advertising spaces that target high-income consumers who appreciate fashionable and premium experiences. These investments are crucial in ensuring Huawei's ads are placed in high-traffic, high-visibility areas such as metro stations and airports, where they can capture the attention of their desired audience. This approach not only maximises visibility but also reinforces Huawei's brand message of quality and innovation.

Three key strategies for enhancing consumer mindset with OOH media:

1. Targeting at scale: Jas highlighted the importance of launching campaigns that create a spectacular and impactful presence. This strategy involves spotlighting product benefits and capturing consumer attention through dominant, high-visibility placements. For instance, Huawei's global launch campaigns, such as the introduction of wearable props and new robotic devices, utilised premium OOH media to achieve 100% share of voice in key markets. These campaigns significantly boosted sales and improved brand perception.

2. Consistent, high-value brand messaging: Delivering consistent and high-value brand messages in strategic settings is essential for triggering purchase intentions and enhancing consumer understanding of product functions. Huawei's campaigns often integrate visually consistent and continuous messages across various OOH platforms. For example, the Chinese New Year campaign featured illustrations of products across metro and bus media, maximising impressions and improving key brand perception indicators related to premium and fashionable attributes.

3. Innovations with connectivity: Jas stressed the need for innovative approaches that break traditional boundaries and foster interactive consumer experiences. By leveraging social platforms and integrating them with OOH media, Huawei creates holistic and engaging campaigns. A notable example is the collaboration with Xiaohongshu, a popular social platform in China, which generated significant engagement, particularly among young female consumers. This campaign integrated interactive elements with OOH media placements, boosting brand prominence and consumer interaction.

Building a premium brand through OOH media

OOH media's unique ability to deliver high-impact visuals in public spaces makes it an ideal tool for building a premium brand image. Huawei's strategic use of OOH media, especially in high-income and high-traffic areas, ensures that the brand message is seen by the right audience. This not only enhances brand awareness but also reinforces the brand's association with quality, innovation, and fashion.

Jas's presentation at the WOO Global Congress highlighted the critical role of OOH media in enhancing the consumer's mindset. Through strategic investment in premium OOH placements, consistent and engaging communication, and innovative connectivity approaches, Huawei has successfully leveraged OOH media to shape consumer perceptions and drive brand engagement. As OOH media continues to evolve, its potential to influence consumer mindset and build strong, premium brands remains unparalleled. By focusing on high-impact, strategic placements and integrating innovative approaches, brands like Huawei can continue to enhance their presence and resonate deeply with their target audiences.


AI set to accelerate digital out of home growth

AI is set to accelerate digital out of home’s growth by bridging the current attribution gap, says our incoming Group CEO Stephen Joseph.

In a presentation to the World Out of Home Organization’s annual congress in Hong Kong, Stephen outlined the use of AI in the race to develop new technologies to streamline the DOOH value chain, using machine learning to transform the sales, media planning and creative processes.

Stephen said if used properly, AI should be a positive driver for the growth of better DOOH, democratising the channel and clearing hurdles that slow down the transactional, creative and strategic process.

He warned however that company data should remain ring-fenced and not be allowed to power an AI tool that eliminates any USPs. He called on the industry to explore and use AI, “without being open to being used by AI”.

“AI breaks the paradigm, but our advice is to approach the opportunity with an open mind. Do your due diligence. Robust data is key but remember to apply a data moat and only share what you really need to,” he said.

Joseph said early stage AI was already being used to supercharge efficiencies, scaling time consuming creative design processes such as generatively filling screens across all formats. Brands now delivering AI generated adverts and personalised content include Coca-Cola and Pampers using tools such as ChatGPT and Dall-E.

He said that the application of AI to media planning and buying processes will liberate the sales and trading functions by bridging the gap between automated, demand side and supply side programmatic trading systems, using deep learning to streamline planning processes, freeing up critical team time to be spent on advertising strategy and big, creative thinking instead.

Stephen said: “For agencies and trading desks, AI will optimise the entire planning process. A combination of data, market predictions and accurate measurability will fundamentally transform repetitive or automated tasks and programmatic capabilities, optimising real time DOOH delivery. Mapping the user journey more accurately using live data and sentiment – making predictions about how audiences move and feel – will bridge the attribution gap, enhancing ROI.

“The second major impact will be on accountability and authenticity. Algorithms will transform play out verification and campaign outcomes, manage over and under supply in real time and detect and crack down on ad fraud and poorly executed OOH imitations, or fake DOOH, which only serve to erode brand trust.”

Crafting authentic DOOH which is trusted and resonates with online audiences are brands like Unilever’s Magnum which used genuine 3D DeepScreen® content augmented with a clever edit to create a real tension between real OOH and surrealism, “amplifying the impossible which is where the magic happens”, he said.

In terms of OOH real estate, Stephen said that using inventory and development data to help with the development of integrated “smart city” locations would more easily identify gaps in the market, improve the digital signage supply chain and help meet the industry’s sustainability goals.

He concluded: “To stay ahead of the curve, DOOH must have a say in the development of AI planning tools which will optimise our effectiveness, attract and retain the right talent, enhance our market valuation and improve our growth trajectory.”


Insights from The World Out of Home Organization Annual Congress in Hong Kong

The 63rd World Out of Home Organization (WOO) Annual Congress took place in Hong Kong from June 5-7, drawing a record number of 500 participants from 47 countries.

The Thursday morning congress began with Dr. Bernard Chan Pak Li, Under Secretary for Commerce at the Hong Kong Government, welcoming over 500 delegates.

Tom Goddard, President of the World Out of Home, delivered a passionate speech, portraying Hong Kong as a dynamic global stage. He introduced the day's theme, "Growing the OOH Sector," with great enthusiasm that resonated throughout the venue. Goddard sparked excitement by discussing the critical growth factors driving the industry forward, from the essential use of measurement data to the importance of sustainability, automation, collaboration, and networking. He highlighted the industry's breakthrough in surpassing the 5% market share threshold (reaching 5.2%) and questioned whether this signifies sustained growth for OOH. Goddard emphasised the urgency of embracing sustainability and spotlighted Ad Net Zero as a model of responsible media practices. Tom highlighted Abu Dhabi's Multiply Group acquiring BackLite Media, along with Viola Communications and Media 24/7, to build a strong media presence in the UAE. He also thanked Omar Fayed and Jawad Hassan for their support of the World Out of Home Organisation.

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He also emphasised the potential of retail media and urged stakeholders to seize emerging opportunities. The climax of Goddard's address was when he praised the value of global collaboration within the World Out of Home channel, highlighting the strength in unity and the diverse representation of the over 500 delegates from 42 countries.

Here are our key takeaways from the event:

1. Integration with Online Media

WOO President Tom Goddard suggested viewing online media as a companion rather than a competitor, noting that "all the DOOH solutions are on the DSPs planners are used to using daily."

2. Growth of PrDOOH:

Programmatic Digital Out of Home (PrDOOH) is projected to reach 30% of DOOH bookings over the next 18 months. Benjamin Milne highlighted the need for "more data and measurement and simplification through automation to activate bookings."

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3. Embracing Programmatic Strategy:

Each OOH company should develop a programmatic strategy to secure a larger share of the omnichannel market. Sylvain Le Borgne from JCDecaux emphasised, "The specialists were used to OOH. Now we have a new generation of buyers used to online digital, and we need to use their language."

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4. OOH Ad Spend and Automation:

According to the WOO Index, Out-Of-Home (OOH) ad spending reached $41.9 billion in 2023. However, Annie Rickard pointed out that "everyone believes OOH does not get enough share; automating the medium everywhere will help.

5. Free Regulation DOOH Ad Zones in Seoul:

Daewon Kim from Seoul discussed the creation of three "Free Regulation DOOH Ad Zones," which involve dozens of OOH companies rolling out cutting-edge digital screens to transform districts into iconic places to visit. This model is suggested for replication in every major city.

6. Retail Media's Hidden Power:

The congress highlighted the secret superpower of retail media in the outdoor advertising space.

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7. Sustainability:

A new WOO website has been dedicated to this critical subject underscored the urgency of sustainability in the OOH industry. We had the pleasure of hearing from Four speakers on Sustainability at the World Out of Home Organization's Global Congress - on the theme of "The Clock is Ticking"

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Additional Insights:

- Sylvain Le Borgne from JCDecaux discussed the importance of data in the OOH space and confirmed the industry is on the right path to implement data tools and solutions across every step of the campaign.

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- Michael Provenzano from Vistar highlighted the increased activity of cross-border buying in DOOH, which allows brands to activate multiple markets simultaneously via programmatic means.

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- Emma Hegg from Platform Strategy led a panel with Benjamin Milne, Gavin Lee, and Annie Rickard, emphasising the need for automation across all OOH, not just digital. She noted that manual interactions between clients, buyers, and media owners increase the potential for issues and decrease the desirability of investing in the media.

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- Chris Ngan from The Trade Desk showcased how incorporating DOOH into an omnichannel strategy consistently improves digital performance by increasing click-through rates (CTR) and lowering cost per acquisition (CPA).

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- Lindsay Rapacchi from Clear Channel demonstrated how increasing market penetration leads to higher market share and more loyal brand buyers by building reach among light category buyers and leveraging category entry points in consumers' minds.

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The congress was not just an event but a revolution for the OOH industry. Its deep dive into automation, intertwining with online media, and paving the way for sustainable practices promised a dawn of innovation and progress. These two days were insightful and transformative, sparking inspiration within us all.

And adding to the excitement, the news that we'll meet again in Mexico next year to continue this journey was the perfect conclusion.

Our sincerest gratitude extends to Tom Goddard, Anna Maria Pisano, Richard Saturley, Mark Flys, and the entire World Out of Home Organization team. Your dedication crafted an event that wasn't just brilliant and flawless but a beacon of inspiration and community. These events are beyond valuable; they are transformative. You all are indeed the architects of change in our industry.


OOH breaks through 5% barrier says WOO President Tom Goddard in Hong Kong

Global spending on Out of Home advertising reached $41.9bn in 2023, up 16% on 2022's $36.2bn, breaking through the 5% barrier even as online continues to dominate media growth tables. OOH now accounts for 5.2% of global ad expenditure, up from 2022's 4.7%.

The breakthrough was highlighted in World Out of Home Organization President Tom Goddard's opening address to the WOO Annual Congress in Hong Kong this week.

Last year in Lisbon , Goddard set the industry the target of exceeding 5% and moving forward to its deserved share of 10% plus.

According to WOO's own global expenditure survey all major regions posted strong growth in 2023 with APAC rising by a spectacular 25%, boosted by a post Covid bounce-back in Mainland China and continued strong growth in Australia of almost 10%.

Europe overtook North America for the first time breaking through the $10bn mark with Latin America and Africa also posting strong growth numbers with plenty of room to grow faster.

In terms of the rapidly growing digital Out of Home element (DOOH), Europe now leads on 40% with APAC and North America in the mid-thirties. At country level Australia leads the field with 75%, followed by the UK at 65%, with China, South Korea and Malaysia joining Australia in the top ten ranking.

2024 is set to record further double growth with the Olympics,  the Euros football championships and some 50% of the world's population going to the polls,  boosting political advertising.

Among the main growth drivers, Goddard said, are better and more effective measurement, consolidation among media owners and increased AdTech investment coming into the market, as the realisation dawns that OOH is the only traditional medium worldwide growing share alongside online.

Goddard concluded: "We can now see an exciting new horizon for Out of Home as more and more advertisers and agencies acknowledge that we're now a progressive medium, popular with consumers and the cities where the much-needed infrastructure we pay for adds to the quality of urban life.

"Importantly we're the only major advertising medium that comes together to speak with one voice - at this Annual Congress for example - and believes in the benefits of collaboration even as we compete with each other. There has never been a better or more exciting time to be in Out of Home.”


The strongest speaker line-up to date for WOO Hong Kong Annual Congress

WOO President Tom Goddard hails strongest speaker line-up to date for WOO Hong Kong Annual Congress.

World Out of Home Organization President Tom Goddard has hailed what he calls "the strongest speaker line-up" to date for the WOO Annual Congress to be held in Hong Kong from June 5-7.

Speakers named so far include on June 6: Tal Jacobsen of Perion (also now Hivestack) with OUTFRONT Media's Jeremy Male; Jas Cai from Huawei, Vincent Lam of Asiary Media Group, Quividi's Laetitia Lim, Anna Bager of the OAAA and Ocean Outdoor's Stephen Joseph on AI.

On Day Two (June 7) there will be JCDecaux global data chief Sylvain Le Borgne, Vistar Media's Michael Provenzano, Chris Ngan from The Trade Desk, Clear Channel's Lindsay Rapacchi, Srikanth Ramachandran from Moving Walls as well as Martin Cork of Clear Channel and OOH Capital's Annie Rickard. For the full speaker line up click here.

WOO came into being at the Dubai Annual Congress in 2019 (it was formerly FEPE International) and with a forced lockdown gap in 2020/21 it has since been held in Toronto and Lisbon. There has also been a programme of regional Forums in London (virtual), Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bali and Cape Town.

Goddard says: "WOO has spread its wings as the global body for the Out of Home industry just as the medium has become a global powerhouse with an increasing number of multinational campaigns and the omnichannel benefits of automation and programmatic for planning and buying.

"Out of Home is also enjoying a creative renaissance in both classic and digital with many fantastic examples of the unique impact and engagement OOH brings, reflected in a record number of outstanding entries for the WOO Creative Awards for classic and digital to be announced in Hong Kong.

"Our line-up of speakers for Hong Kong reflects all sides of this amazing industry and will provide an invaluable guide as OOH navigates an exciting and, as with any global medium, challenging future."    

We Iook forward to welcoming you to Hong Kong.


BackLite Media Named Gold Sponsor of World Out of Home Organization's Hong Kong Congress

🌏 We're setting sail to Hong Kong!

We proudly announce our sponsorship at the prestigious World Out of Home Organization Hong Kong Congress in June 2024. As we navigate the evolving landscape of out-of-home advertising, this event represents an incredible opportunity to engage with global Out-of-Home leaders, share ideas, and showcase our commitment to advancing the industry.We look forward to discovering and shaping the evolving landscape of Out-of-Home media, connecting with industry leaders, innovators, and critical stakeholders shaping the future of out-of-home advertising.

Why Asia this time? The region is a massive global economic force with China vying with the US for biggest economy (and biggest national OOH market) and many of the developments we're seeing in Asia will become the reality for the industry in the rest of the world too, notably the growth of digital OOH and the use of Artificial Intelligence (A!).

At this year's Annual Congress we will look to cover many of the themes impacting on OOH including:

  • The impact of AI on many aspects of our businesses
  • Sustainability – still the Elephant in the Boardroom, for some
  • The growing importance of Retail Media
  • Audience Measurement evolution – still front and centre as an issue for OOH
  • Making OOH easier to buy with AdTech and how we tap into the omnichannel dollars

These are the forces shaping the global media market in 2024 and beyond and all of them pose formidable challenges for OOH. Retail media, in particular the exponential growth of retailer websites from the likes of Amazon and Walmart, may seem a world away from OOH but it's a phenomenon we have to find a way of competing against and potentially complementing; just as we did, for decades, with television.

All of these will be explored in depth in Hong Kong via a stellar line-up of speakers and panellists from all sides of the media industry and the planet


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