Gurgaon gets outdoor advertising policy

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | February 12, 2010
The unorganised outdoor market in Gurgaon, estimated to be worth Rs 50 crore annually, finally gets an outdoor advertising policy

Though constant steps are being taken to organise the outdoor industry, some markets with immense potential are yet to come up to expected standards. One such market is Gurgaon, one of the biggest corporate hubs of India, where the skyline is replete with large hoardings which have no sense of dimensions and blurred creatives, with average or, in some cases, very poor quality of flex.

Currently, no big media owner is present in this part of the NCR and most of the business takes place either by directly approaching the vendors or by involving the agencies. Plot owners raise structures and sell ad space. Even when the authorities pull down the illegal hoardings, these structures keep cropping up again.

Recently, the Haryana cabinet met under the chairmanship of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to give its approval to the final draft of Haryana Municipalities' Outdoor Advertising Policy.

The policy shall apply to all the municipal areas in the state and shall cover all lands or properties belonging to all state government departments, boards and corporations, unless specifically exempted by the government. It has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) for the NCR.

With a view to discourage clutter, the policy is being driven not by revenue but by the city's development imperatives.

The policy is designed to ensure that outdoor advertising is not hazardous to traffic. The advertisement rights shall be given for a period not exceeding three years and ads for the publicity of achievements, social welfare schemes or messages and various other development policies put up by the government departments shall be excluded from the purview of the contract. In addition, the licensee shall reserve 15 per cent of the total advertising space for such ads.

The license fee shall increase at the rate of 10 per cent every year.

afaqs! spoke to a few industry insiders to get their opinions on the implications of this move and what lies ahead for the outdoor business in Gurgaon.

Tanmay Tiwari, general manager, Jagran Engage reveals that Gurgaon has consistently been a part of the media plan of brands across categories. "Though infrastructural development is taking place in other parts of the NCR, including Ghaziabad, Noida and Faridabad, being a corporate hub, Gurgaon grabs the clients' attention. The way forward for Gurgaon and the rest of Haryana is to follow the footsteps of other organised markets by creating advertising platforms alongside the development of infrastructure such as utilities, roundabouts and bus shelters."

Gurgaon also boasts of premium properties such as DLF's commercial buildings, which the realty giant started renting out for advertisements in a big way since about a year ago. To communicate the change in its logo, Videocon has done branding on the facade of Gateway Tower in Gurgaon. Also, DLF plans to get into LED screens soon.

According to Alok Gupta, director, Graphisads, the media owner who has been providing mobile vans to its clients, the move will certainly help in bringing down illegal sites across the region. "The clutter of hoardings there is certainly an eye sore. Once the authorities take care of this and bring the tender system, other outdoor formats including street furniture can be explored."

Krishnendu Ghosh, regional head, north, Milestone Brandcom seems to differ with Gupta's view, observing that with its large hoardings, Gurgaon offers a format that Delhi cannot and this fact is foremost in his mind every time he plans a campaign in the NCR.

According to industry estimates, Gurgaon's outdoor market churns out annual revenue of approximately Rs 50 crore. Only time will tell whether the policy can bring about accountability and transform its skyline for the better.

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