A advertisement banners on pedestrian bridges in Hà Nội. —Photo hanoimoi.vn
Tô Văn Động, Director of the Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports talks to Hà Nội Mới
(New Hà Nội) newspaper on the importance of upholding the law on advertising.
What do you think about the trial run of putting advertisement banners on pedestrian bridges in Hà Nội?
It is the Hà Nội People’s Committee’s decision to have advertisement banners on pedestrians bridges to have the money to invest in the construction of physical structures for public utilities, the Hà Nội authorities decided to co-operate with the Vinasing Media and Trading Joint Stock Company and Communications or Vinasing in this project.
With agreement from Hà Nội authorities, Vinasing will install in the city a system of public toilets, 10 special tankers, 50 cold water dispensers and 200 cast iron and stainless steel benches in public places. It is estimated the project’s total cost is about VNĐ193 billion (US$8.6 million). In return, Vinasing can run advertisements on 54 pedestrian bridges in the inner city.
In addition, Vinasing will supply certain public facilities to Hà Nội and co-operated with municipal authorities in launching communication campaigns to welcome the US-North Korea Summit, the 230th commemoration of the Ngọc Hồi-Đống Đa Victory (1789-2019); the 2018 National Sport Competition and mass communication campaigns to raise people’s awareness of traffic safety and environmental protection.
Did Hà Nội agencies give any comments on the Vinasing proposal?
To have advertisement banners on the city’s pedestrian bridges, Hà Nội authorities sent an official letter to the Ministry of Construction asking for permission to hang advertisement banners on all city’s pedestrian crossing bridges. On November 20, 2017, we received an official document allowing Hà Nội authorities to run advertisements on all city’s pedestrian crossing bridges.
By now such advertisement boards have been hung on 28 pedestrian bridges in the City.
Some people have complained the advertisement boards violate the law on open-air advertisement. How do you respond to such a complaint?
As I have mentioned above, before hanging the advertisement boards on the pedestrian bridges, Hà Nội authorities consulted with the Ministry of Construction and got permission to do it.
More recently, the Hà Nội’s Department of Culture and Sports conducted an inspection mission and detected some advertisements have been placed in wrong places and decided to issue fines of VNĐ 70 million (US$3,021), However, on order from the Hà Nội People’s Committee, from March 2019, the Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports ordered the Vinasing Company to temporarily stop their pilot programme of the advertisements on pedestrian crossing bridges.
In reality, the decision to hang billboards in pedestrian crossing bridges is still in the trial period to mobilise capital resources to fund/run civil projects in the city. Of course, after a pilot period, Hà Nội authorities will conduct an evaluation to consider whether the project should be continued or not. — VNS