Abhinav Mohapatra, New Delhi
A recent media report claimed that Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala will be getting its own outdoor advertising policy, which will be formulated by July. The OAP is meant to make the streets a clutter-free area restricting hoardings and arches that are currently covering the stretches. As per reports, the OAP will be based on Delhi’s 2007 policy and will be focusing on Supreme Court’s order to give paramount importance to road safety and safe traffic movement without any obstruction from any outdoor media asset. Once the capital’s OAP is in place all advertising asset construction will have to get a green light according to the policy.
The policy being formalised will take into consideration, factors like; shape, light source, colour, luminance and will have regulations to ban nudity, racism or any vulgar content. By studying the international norms, factors like nature of wind, soil bearing capacity of and electrical connection of places where hoardings are erected will also be taken into account. The inputs of NHAI and PWD are also been taken into consideration forthe formulation of the outdoor advertising policy of the city.
An outdoor media asset owner from Kerala, who did not want to be quoted, says that the policy can restrict the hoardings but cannot ban the same. “According to the City’s municipal corporation, the legal hoardings and arches have still an 11 month long period to go and whatever changes the OAP will bring has to be implemented post that period and nothing can be touched in the next 11 months. also if the OAP is implemented it cannot be done for a specific area like Thiruvananthapuram, it has to be done for prevalent areas that have hoardings and arches in the state,” the spokesperson opines.
Taking its roots from Delhi, the policy, as per industry reports, will be based on the relation between traffic distraction and outdoor media clutter. Delhi’s OAP is against a cluttered environment and the policy states that there should be a minimum gap of 70 meters between two outdoor media assets.
Ashar Ameer from Outdoor Checks, a prominent outdoor media asset owner in Kerala says that as of now whatever will be formulated will be done in the favour of the media owners and agencies who are legally into the business and are following all guidelines under the municipalities. “If the policy is formulated and implemented, it will surely beautify the landscape. As it is a lot of large format hoardings are on the outskirts of the city where there is no hindrance to pedestrians or traffic, but it will be a good thing of the policy will come into place taking the local landscape into consideration,” he adds.