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October Bridge's empty billboards

Billboards on so-called “advertising boulevards” are empty – Egypt Business Directory is looking at the possible causes.
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<center><div class="image"><img src="https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/8648_435920689811390_900903959_n.jpg" width="500" height="390" style="padding-bottom:0.5em;" alt="6th of October Bridge">
<br><div><i>Sample of billboards on 6th of October Bridge – Beginning of February 2013</i></div>
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<p>Cairo’s infamous 6th of October Bridge is mainly known for its vast variety of advertisements. Hundreds of billboards decorate a commuter’s hour-long drive from the beginning to the end of the bridge – and usually, they are spammed with all sorts of advertisements. </p>
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<p>But beginning 2013, a noticeable phenomenon has taken over: several billboards have nothing to offer anymore. Over 40 blank, grey or white spaces replace what once used to be colorful, blinking – sometimes even annoying – posters and fiber sculptures. The same goes for several other “advertising-boulevards”. </p>
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<p>What caused the sudden change? There could be two explanations for this occurrence: </p>
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1. The companies and businesses do not have enough money to lay out an all-covering marketing and advertising strategy due to <b>lack of budget</b>. The last two years have definitely not been easy on businesses – be it multinational big-shots or local start-ups and tailors. Budgets changed, people were let go, laborers went on strike and the overall stability of the country was shaken, putting off investors and decreasing consumerism. </p>
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2. The overall marketing budget remains the same, yet companies started investing in other types of advertisement – mainly online presence. With an internet penetration of 37.92%, and over 31 million users, Egypt has a large audience for <b>online marketing</b>. Online penetration increased about 28% from 2011 to 2012 – and this percentage is not planning to decrease anytime soon. This niche has received way too little attention from businesses, only 6.8% of this budget is addressed at online advertising, and regional manager for North Africa for Google Wael ElFakharany claims that the percentage lies even further down at 3.5% - 4%. On the contrary, developed countries spend 17% - 18% of their budget on online marketing. </p>
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Which option is more plausible and why? </p>
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Join the conversation on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/egyptbusiness ">@egyptbusiness </a></p>
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or on Facebook: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Egypt.Business">Egypt Business Directory</a> </p>
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