MUMBAI: Spending on outdoor advertising picked up in the third quarter and the sector is likely to see an annual increase of between 7% and 8%, according to industry figures.

Exchange4Media spoke to a number of OOH owners and media agencies who all agreed that Q3 2015 had been a significant improvement on the same period in 2014, thanks to campaigns run by government and ecommerce businesses.

Nabendu Bhattacharyya, MD of Milestone Brandcom, singled out m-commerce for comment. "Previously, we have not seen the m-commerce category spend this strongly," he said. "I would say that ad spends have gone up by 20% to 25% in July-September 2015 as compared to the same period last year."

The improvement was not only in relation to last year, as Sanjeev Gupta, MD at Global Advertisers, related that Q3 OOH ad revenues were sharply up on the second quarter – he put the increase at between 70% and 80%.

"Even among e-commerce companies Amazon has clearly been the biggest spender," he said. "Apart from Amazon, there were just 2-3 others that have spent big, but Amazon has spent a lot of money on all mediums."

Regionally, Mumbai and Delhi had been strong performers, according to Noomi Mehta, Chairman and MD of Selvel. But he reported problems in Kolkata where he was in dispute with the city authorities.

"They say that out of the 400 sites given to us, 250 are illegal. So even clients have lost interest and don't want to advertise," he explained.

Site availability was also an issue highlighted by Rajiv Saxena, MD of Blue Ocean Medi. "There has hardly been any new media or new inventory introduced for a long time," he said. "So long as the industry remains local it will not grow."

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff