COMB, OMAC announce new certification program

Responding to the challenge of the skills gap, the OOH industry bodies have launched a program aimed at educating the entry-level planner and buyer.

Canada’s out-of-home industry bodies have announced the launch of a new certification program aimed at expanding buyers’ planning and buying skills for campaigns on OOH networks.

The five-module course covers the range of OOH products, networks, audience measurement and planning resources available on the networks of the two bodies’ members. It is available for agencies, advertisers and media schools.

Addressing the skills gap has been a major concern in the media industry as agencies have grappled with changing buying technology and diversifying their media plans. Sonia Carreno, president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Canada, has told MiC that changing media realities have resulted in a shortage of talent, forcing industry bodies to rsepond to the changing landscape by offering intensive catch-up courses.

IAB Canada has launched a number of new courses and initiatives over the past few year, tackling key and complex areas like programmatic trading. Last month Digital Ad Labs, which was founded by Raymond Reid, launched a partnership with Google’s DoubleClick to bring the Digital AdLab Student Digital Accelerator Program to Sheridan College.

The OMAC course is an extension of this need and is built to give buyers and planners a specialized understanding of the OOH space, which has been quickly digitizing.

The course, which is available in both English and French and costs $250, is aimed at entry-level planners and buyers, to ensure that participants are able to understand the scale and scope of OOH assets, according to Rosanne Caron, president, OMAC. In addition, she noted all participants will be tested ahead of receiving certification.

“As the OOH industry continues to grow we saw a need to develop an educational program that encompasses the different aspects of the medium from measurement to planning resources,” explained Caron. “The challenge was to develop a program that would not require a huge amount of time for participants to complete while providing them with the knowledge required to plan OOH.”

In addition, the course also targets more advanced media professionals looking for a refresher on the OOH landscape.

“We work in an increasingly complex business where certification becomes critical to ensure skills are kept current,” Andrea Parnell, SVP, managing director, Initiative stated in a press release.