Outdoor advertising business is suffering amidst the ban on wall paintings and hoardings in the city.
Bengaluru: Even after the ban on the outdoor advertisements by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike, painted advertisements prominently stand out on the walls of private and abandoned buildings in the city.
In 2018, BBMP had imposed a blanket ban on hoardings, flexes, and all other types of advertisements in public spaces. But the ban was revoked in 2019, after a protest by advertising agencies as their business was affected massively. But again, the ban has been imposed this year after Basavraj Bommai became the chief minister.
These banned wall painting advertisements are disrupting the city’s natural beauty. Advertising agencies shifted to painted advertisements after hoardings and flexes got banned by BBMP. But it is observed that the advertising agencies continue to paint the walls.
“Wall painting advertisements is not ban. Only outdoor hoardings are banned, other all formats of advertisements are allowed. We still do wall paintings in both city and rural areas. It depends upon the customer, where they want we will do it. Everywhere in Bengaluru,” said Sakthi C, owner of Infinite Advertisements.
Venkatesh C, the joint commissioner of revenue and advertisement said, “Wall painting advertisements are banned. The painted advertisements are illegal and BBMP is taking strict action against the ad agencies by filing FIRs against them.”
BBMP has filed 440 FIRs since last year and is taking strict action against the agencies that illegally put-up advertisements in the city.
But the ban has affected the lives of many people who were dependent on this industry for their livelihood. “This entire policy which is being sold as a very virtuous and regulatory thing has allowed the BBMP to monopolize the thing. It is not as if advertisements are not there. They are there at every road, junction. A large number of people are losing their livelihood and have come up on the road because of this skewed policy,” said Manmohan Singh Maan, the secretary of Bengaluru Outdoor Advertisement Association while criticizing the policy.
The ban was imposed to maintain the natural beauty and aesthetics of the city and also to help the drivers from getting distracted while driving.
The painted walls with advertisements can be found in the outskirts of the city as well but because it does not come under BBMP’s limits, no action is taken against them.
RTI Activist Sai Datta said, “Strict action must be taken against these advertising agencies. We need to put the penalty; we should cancel their building license along with their accounts.”
The PIL against outdoor advertisements is still being heard in the High Court. Currently, the ban prevails within the limits of the BBMP. However, efforts are being made to impose a statewide ban and make Karnataka an outdoor advertisement-free state.