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Green mandate blunts Kerala OOH business prospects in run-up to state elections

By M4G Bureau - December 03, 2020

Media operators cite that higher cost of green fabric cuts into margins leaving

Elections usually bring cheer to the OOH business as demand for OOH media goes high in that period. However, in the run-up to the Legislative Assembly Elections in the state scheduled to be held in May 2021, media operators are not seemingly exuding great optimism from the business perspective.

Their optimism is somewhat dimmed by the Election Commission’s mandate that PVC flex shall not be used for election campaigns in the state. Instead, OOH publicity launched by the political parties should be executed only on eco-friendly fabric – which has a higher cost to it.

Talking to Media4Growth regarding the mandate, Vijaya Kumar, MD, Aiswaria OOH, said, “Without taking permission from the concerned authority, nobody can install even a signage on roadside or in public area. We can only use permitted billboards.”

Vijaya believes that the political parties will massively use OOH media during Legislative Assembly Elections as it creates a powerful impact. However, using costly fabric rather than PVC flex material for their publicity campaigns will pose business challenges, he thinks.

The political parties have been instructed to use environment friendly and soil soluble materials such as cotton, paper or polyethylene for electioneering.

“We are only using eco-friendly fabric as per the mandate. Although it is disturbing our budget, as it is expensive, we are somehow adjusting the rates with the clients,” said Ramesh Pommiah, CMD, Adinn Advertising.

Ramesh added, “We don’t have any other choice as Covid19 has badly impacted our business. Hence, we are putting more efforts to get more clients.”

It seems that the regional media owners have lost all the hope to earn any profit out of the elections and are just focusing on maintaining their clients to cover the losses occurred due to the impact of the pandemic.

“It will hit our budget. But right now, we are not aiming for a big profit,” said Vijaya.


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