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Plan to cleanse city of rampant advertising

Update: July, 24/2014 - 08:39
Advertisements displayed around Hoan Kiem Lake, a downtown area in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhat Anh

HA NOI — A major plan to regulate the installment of outdoors advertising billboards in Ha Noi has been developed by the city to deal with unauthorised outdoor advertising.

The Ha Noi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has submitted two drafts on "Planning of Outdoor Advertising Panels to 2020 with an orientation to 2030" and "Regulations on outdoors advertisement activities" to the municipal People's Committee for approval.

Surveys by Ky Nguyen Advertising and Event JSC, the company in charge of developing the first draft, showed that outdoor advertising in Ha Noi was out of control.

Most outdoors panels failed to conform to national requirements on size, location or licensing. Violations led to a higher risk of traffic accidents and explosions.

State control over outdoor advertising also caused confusions due to overlapping licensing procedures and lack of sanctions.

In the new draft, outdoor advertising panels will have to follow set sizes. Smaller billboards will be banned from overpass bridges, bridges across the Red River and historical and cultural parks.

Advertising banners in Ha Noi have also made the list.

The draft requires all advertising banners to be the same size and only hung in one of 14,000 permitted areas.

Companies, organisations and individuals will acquire advertising space through public auctions held by local authorities.

While agreeing with the drafts, the Ha Noi Advertisement Association Vice President Pham Thanh Minh suggested that local authorities should conduct inspections of outdoor advertising across the city and explain the new guidelines to advertisers before removing offending billboards.

Management of billboards would also be easier if the pillars for large-scale advertising panels were installed with positioning chips, he added.

Long Bien District's Culture and Sports and Tourism Department Head Nguyen Trong Duy said that district and sub-district authorities should be responsible for licensing small-scale advertising panels to simplify management work.

Ha Noi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Director To Van Dong stressed that the disorganisation of outdoor advertising had produced so-called "urban trash".

Demand for advertising space was high, he said, but if we said yes to all advertisers' demands, there would be no green space left in the capital.

"In some parts of the city, the management of historical relics, traditional festivals and karaoke bars was put under district and sub-district authorities, but they have to fulfill their roles efficiently. Our department will only let districts and communes capable of licensing advertising activities do the job. In the meantime, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will bear the responsibility for the management of other areas," said Dong. — VNS

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