Billboard Ad Sales Near Pre-Pandemic Levels as U.K. Reopens
Billboard advertiser Ocean Outdoor Ltd. says revenue will return to pre-pandemic levels later this year as businesses spend more to reach consumers venturing outside their homes now that lockdowns are easing.
In Canary Wharf, a center for the capital’s finance industry, a nascent ad recovery is set to accelerate significantly starting next month, Chief Executive Officer Tim Bleakley said in an interview. Spending by government and retailers has already fully recovered, though most categories, particularly travel and autos, have yet to return to their 2019 levels.
Ocean Outdoor is also seeing demand for ads from the finance and car industries ahead of this year’s COP26 global climate talks in Scotland, he said.
“Overall, we’re not out of the woods entirely yet but we’re definitely in the momentum stage of the recovery,” he said.
Sales surged 196% in the second quarter to 25.9 million pounds ($35.9 million), the London-based company said in a statement Tuesday. That’s 78% of revenue for the same period in 2019.
The company’s U.K. business, its biggest region, is leading the revival. Activity in the Netherlands also picked up while revenue in the Nordics was little changed from the first half of 2020.
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