There is good news for the OOH industry in Delhi: the Supreme Court has finally approved the Outdoor Advertising Policy for the national Capital allowing hoardings on roads. Earlier, on November 20, 1997, the Apex Court had banned hoardings on roads in Delhi as they were considered a hazard for motorists -- the safety of road users was paramount the Court had ordained.
The new Outdoor Advertising Policy forbids the putting up of ‘unipoles’ within 75 metres of any road or crossing. The entire system of outdoor advertisement displays in Delhi stands to be revamped by this order. exchange4media talked to a few OOH players about this order to find out how it would benefit the OOH industry.
Indrajit Sen, CEO, Stroer Media, said, “I welcome this move as for the first time Delhi has a well-defined regulation for OOH advertising. Bangalore and Hyderabad are already following such a regulation for quite a long time, and now Delhi will follow similar guidelines. Outdoor advertising in Delhi will no longer be restricted to only bus shelters. OOH players can focus on other means of outdoor advertising which will create a healthy atmosphere. It will be good for the brands, as they will get more options for advertising. Delhi will have a new look before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.”
Farid Kureshi, COO, Times Innovative Media, too welcomed the move. “The most important thing is the implementation of the policy. The OOH industry should be able to gel with the city landscape. There are a lot of illegal sites that were not monitored. We need to monitor the policy’s guidelines and follow them strictly. As we all know, the billboards in Delhi look aesthetically horrible. They don’t match international standards. We need to invest in research, self-discipline and the quality of billboards.”
Adille Sumariwala, CMD, Clear Channel Communications India, however has a different view. He said, “If the policy in Delhi is consistent with international OOH policy, then it would be beneficial for the industry. This policy is not up to the mark. We should be following OOH formats of London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, etc. We need to follow international formats strictly instead of following just a part of them. All formats of outdoor advertising should be allowed and no compromise should be made on quality, size and format. We need to address these special issues which will benefit the OOH industry.”