OOH owners to give feedback on BOC’s policy for government ads

IOAA is currently consulting its members for their remarks, which will then be forwarded to the ministry for the policymakers’ consideration by the first week of April 2021

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Mar 12, 2021 8:12 AM  | 3 min read
OOH owners on BOCs government ad policy

On 10th March 2021, The BOC (Bureau of Outreach Communication) announced the long-awaited Policy for rate approval of Outdoor and Personal Media Government Campaigns. In a letter to Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mukesh Gupta, Chairman, Media & Entertainment Committee, Ph.D. Chamber of Commerce & Industry, had requested the minister to increase Government spending on OOH media.

This amplification of government media spends, he wrote, will boost the image of the Government as well as provide employment opportunities to people in the OOH sector. The new framework comes at the onset of the election season in the nation and at a time when OOH will see a further amplification.

Gupta stated, “We have observed that the Central Government's spending on OOH is very low in comparison to State Governments. It seems that the Government believes in social media only, whereas you can't ignore the impact of OOH. No doubt, Social media is effective but it reaches very few people, whereas OOH reaches every nook and corner of the country in a very effective manner. Lacs of people dependent on this industry are attached with this media.”

However, e4m through sources have found out that OOH industry members and IOAA board members haven't been consulted properly in this matter. 

An OOH Media owner, expressing his views on the new policy that has been put forth, says, “Neither IOAA nor any of the OOH Industry leaders have been consulted. We have written to BOC informing them that we will revert with our Members views by the 1st week of April.”

"OOH is unbeatable when it comes to the mass circulation of news. The medium is in the public domain and therefore is trusted more. Billboards give gravity since it is larger than life particularly where photographs are concerned. It brings immediacy and is right there in front of people's faces 24x7. OOH is a people-friendly business in that it gives a massive number of people a livelihood. Therefore, the medium boosts Government revenues at State and Centre levels and at Municipalities all over the country. OOH participates in building and maintaining public facilities- Bus Shelters, Toilets, Traffic Signals, Parks, Pedestrian Bridges, etc which saves the local government money and also earns from them," explained another OOH owner.

Another prominent OOH Industry Owner who wished to remain anonymous remarked, “We are a highly regulated medium with local impact and global reach. OOH reaches everyone without the need for an intermediary -- no paper to be circulated, no phone to be bought, no TV to receive signals which need to be bought. OOH is ‘Totally Free’ to the target audience. In a way, it resonates with the Truly Made in India and Atma Nirbhar approach. Therefore, Media owners are Micro and Small businesses which are the Government's priority sector.”

IOAA is in the process of obtaining feedback on the policy from its members, and the consultation remarks will be forwarded to the ministry for the consideration of the policymakers by the first week of April 2021.

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