Bhawana Anand, New Delhi
The 3rd top most important metro city in the OOH list, Bengaluru has got some serious tension due to the harsh steps taken by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The media owners have been asked to remove outdoor large formats from the certain areas of the city as of now, which is giving hard time to the outdoor advertising fraternity. The move was taken when the corporation didn’t receive the taxes of the last 2 years from the city based media owners which included hefty amount. However, while working on the list of non-tax payers, the illegal sites located in the city also came into the limelight, which fumed the issue even further.
While talking to one of the Bengaluru based media owners, who shared the information on the condition of being anonymity said, “We haven’t been asked to pay any taxes in last 2 years. We didn’t receive any legal notice or information otherwise why would have the media owners not paid. And now suddenly the authority is asking us to pay the tax, its interest as well as the penalty amount”.
The city has the ratio of 50:50 in terms of legal media and illegal media. “The corporation is removing illegal media, which is a matter of concern for us as well, even we also need a permanent solution. However the legal media are also getting scrutinised which is unfair on our part. We need to look at the holistic approach to fight against the forbidden media even we are in support with authority in this”, shared Lekshumanan, Business Head, Coral Media.
The media owner fraternity has been trying to initiate the conversation with the authority to find a solution on the matter; the authority doesn’t seem to give any relaxation. “Everyone is trying to arrange a meeting with authority to come on the common grounds on this matter but it seems impossible as the current DSP is quite strict. If nothing moves forward then we might take the matter to the apex court”, said Anonymous.
The city based media owner association plays a big role in such matters, the city fails to take help from them as well. “The media owner association of this city is pretty old and non-functional for quite some time. Few old times media owners are part of the association out of the big chunk”, said Anonymous.
The media owners want this issue to be resolved on an urgent basis as this is costing them huge losses. “Our entire business has come to halt as we had to cancel few campaigns or postpone them. We can’t afford to let go the campaign for a long time otherwise it will be a financial burden on us as we have to pay landlord rents and several other things”, summed up Lekshumanan.