Outdoor Advertising Association protests ban on hoardings and flexes in Bengaluru

BENGALURU: The Outdoor Advertising Association (OAAB) protested the blanket ban on hoardings and flexes in Bengaluru by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The organisation, represented by media owners, painters, electricians, agency employees, has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. They protested at Town Hall on Thursday.

SM Javed, president, OAAB, said that while the Advertisement Bylaw, 2006, is a comprehensive legislation, the recently-proposed BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Byelaw, 2018, is unsustainable to the industry.

“The outdoor advertising industry wants to continue with the existing 2006 bylaw with the addition of advertisement tax, which is subsumed after GST. Allowing legal hoardings will save lakhs of people in the industry from being unemployed.”

The memorandum to CM Kumaraswamy suggests that the government reject the BBMP’s bylaw and continue permitted hoardings under the Advertisement Byelaw 2006. It also requests to display PVC-free, recyclable and reusable fabric material, instead of ‘flex’ that is banned. The OAAB has said that members will go on an indefinite strike if the suggestions are not considered by the government even after 10 days.

The outdoor advertising industry employs over one lakh people in Bengaluru. “The city has about 1800 legally-permitted hoardings that BBMP has accepted before the High Court as of 2018,” said a statement released by the association. “The legal hoardings have not been renewed by BBMP, even though they are accepted as permitted, and renewal applications have been submitted by respective agencies to the BBMP as required by the law.”