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OOH industry to work with local bodies for better regulation, compliances

The IOAA Goa convention discussed issues like short tenures of licences which prevent long-term commitment of significant investments by private businesses which in turn limits revenues for both industry and the municipality and encourages malpractices

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 11, 2013

The annual convention of the Outdoor advertising industry, held in Goa on July 5 and 6, 2013, saw huge participation from outdoor media companies, advertising agencies and advertisers from all over the country. The convention also saw the participation by senior officers from Pune, Hyderabad, North Delhi and Thane in a panel discussion. This discussion highlighted the distance that municipalities have come in realising the importance of outdoor media as part of the city landscape and in garnering revenues.

The issues discussed mainly was the short tenures of licences and contracts which prevent any long-term commitments of significant investments by private businesses which in turn limits revenues for both industry and the municipality and encourages malpractices.

Rajendra Jagtap, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation, J Kennedy, Additional Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Swati Deshpande, Additional Commissioner, Thane Municipal Corporation, and Ravideep Singh Chahar, Additional Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, all pointed out that longer tenures were in place for infrastructure related BOT projects like those involving construction of foot overbridges and gantries, but existing state government rules currently prevented tenures in excess of three years. However, they were unanimous in pointing out their willingness to work out regulations that would be of mutual benefit provided there were industry bodies which would be willing to address all issues and also implement regulations amongst their members. Lack of single industry bodies in each of these cities were lamented by the municipal officers. “This prevents proper understanding of mutual issues and their appropriate resolution,” said Kennedy of GHMC.

While the OOH industry complained about short tenures, the municipal officers complained about avoidance of payment of licence fees and illegal erection of displays which required constant monitoring and policing. The issue of disruption created by political hoardings and displays were highlighted by both the industry representatives and the municipal officers. The solution suggested by Jagtap from Pune, that certain displays be created at specific locations in the city which would be meant only for public notices, social messages and for political messages at nominal rates, found favour with all. Hence, it is possible that the common menace of widespread misuse of public hoarding displays by political parties and local political leaders may actually be curbed and controlled in future.

Playing down so-called hazards of roadside displays of advertisements, the officers accepted that all recent studies on actual effect of hoarding displays on road accidents need to be taken into account before enforcing harsh regulations simply on the assumption that accidents may be caused by hoarding displays. Industry representatives welcomed this suggestion and Chairman of IOAA, ND Mehta, declared plans of working together with municipalities to create a model regulation, providing recent studies regarding traffic hazards and working together to ensure that illegal hoardings and other malpractices are curbed very strictly by the industry bodies on a voluntary compliance basis.

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