NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh outdoor market is too billboard-centric. Stating this in his address on ’10 challenges for outdoor industry in UP’, Jimmy K Subawalla, director, Selvel Media, said there is a need to develop new outdoor media in the state. But the larger question is, can they be viable in the longer run.
The outdoor industry in the state has been at the receiving end of frequent policy changes. “The UP outdoor policy should be revisited after the outdoor players are consulted,” he said, adding that the recent spike in taxes is an example of how policies can put many players out of business. “When the tax rates shoot up, clients will cut down on the number and duration of campaigns. But, the media owners would still have to bear the taxes for all days of the year,” he said.
He laid particular emphasis on the need for integrated planning of city infrastructure. “Locations and sites for outdoor advertising should also be planned in advance, just like commercial centres and malls are planned,” he reckoned.
Subawalla underlined the key role of outdoor industry associations in establishing common industry practices. He took the example of Delhi Outdoor Advertisers Association (DOAA) which has enforced the minimum campaign period of 10 days in Delhi NCR market. He also urged the industry to stand united in taking steps to root out unauthorised media.
Subawalla drew the audience attention to the imperative of adoption of new technologies and alternative energy sources like solar energy for the illumination of outdoor properties. He also said that the industry should focus attention on social communication as part of its CSR.
He expressed hope that once the credit norms are enforced, media owners would be in a better position to reinvest in the domain.
In the interaction session, Pramod Singh of Shapers reiterated the point that the industry must come together on a common platform before making representations to the civic bodies on different issues.
Satyaprakash of Reshu Advertising said the payment issue should be addressed on a war footing.
The session concluded with a consensus view that the industry would need to agree upon and follow standard norms as a matter of self-regulation and for long-term sustainable growth.