OVAB Debate Name Change (Again)

Chris Sheldrake

Back in late September our North American editor Gail Chiasson heard rumours that lengthy discussions had been ongoing about a possible change of name for that much respected organisation OVAB.

logoWhat Gail heard was that some OVAB members were thinking of ways to incorporate the term ‘Digital Signage’ into the name and (we assume – based on previous discussions with the OVAB hierarchy) drop the use of the word ‘video’.

In an internal memorandum to our editorial team – err, you mean an email to us all, Ed Gail wrote “Members have long been divided regarding the fact that the word Video within the organization’s full name of Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau doesn’t really reflect its membership or mission”.

In fact Suzanne Laforgia (nee Alecia) OVAB President has discussed this with us before, back on 10th August in an interview with Gail, Suzanne told us “One thing OVAB has to do is to help marketers also realize that the word ‘video’ in OVAB’s own title doesn’t mean video in the strict sense”.

At the time the term did not seem to bother Suzanne that much and we again quoted her as saying “In the case of DOOH, video means all kinds of motion … It can be animation, messages, action and more, And OVAB has developed high recognition, so I believe it’s delivering what this can be.”

In October we asked Francois de Gaspe Beaubien about a possible name change and he told us “We debated it and the Board rejected that proposition for now”.

He added “The concern was that the “out of home” segment may hinder us as the TV departments have renamed themselves “video” and that we did not want to off put them”.

Well, we thought that was that (so to speak) and that the obvious conclusion at the time – we are talking only 7 or 8 weeks ago now, Ed was that the association with the term OVAB has built up such a good brand name with great brand recognition that everyone saw no sense in changing that!

Unfortunately on our last trip to the big apple we heard rumours that again a name change had been debated at an OVAB off-site.

We asked OVAB Europe President, Dirk Huelsermann his views and he told us “I speak from a European perspective” (Dirk is not on the US OVAB board nor has he been party to any name change discussions).

He continued “I would ask OVAB members to look at the brand recognition that the association has been getting recently. An industry conference does not take place without good, positive mentions for OVAB”.

Whilst debate is good, personally we REALLY hope they don’t change or tinker with the name.

One Response to “OVAB Debate Name Change (Again)”

  1. Jon Says:

    Video should be understood as the physical necessity (hardware) for out-of-home digital to work. Yes, digital signage can make use of all kinds of formats, but it’s still displayed on a “video device” ––at least for now.

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