Hyderabad media owners take their protest to the OOH space
By Bhawana Anand - December 22, 2020
The regional media owners have come out with strong messages on their sites asking the Telangana Govt to abolish GO no 68
The on-going OOH v/s Telangana government tussle has come out into the open with a strong outdoor campaign undertaken by the Hyderabad based media owners. These media owners, in unison, have unleashed a campaign with the message, “Save Hoarding industry, Save 1 Lakh people.” The message includes the Government Order 68, which happens to be the major point of contention for the regional OOH industry, which is already bearing the brunt of losses caused by COVID19.
The new outdoor advertising policy was issued in February this year by the Department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) under Government Orders (GO) no 68 relating to the safety of pedestrians. It permits outdoor formats limited to 15 feet above ground level and necessitates the removal of rooftop formats located 60 feet above ground level. Currently, the displays are permitted only on ground level media such as bus shelters and media below 15 feet height, Hyderabad metro media and outside of the GHMC district.
While the matter is being dealt by the High Court of Telangana, media owners believe no substantial development is taking place due to the hearings happening virtually because of COVID19. However, the apex body of law has imposed a stay on the display of sites restricted by the new law.
Around 300-400 rooftop sites and unipoles have been removed following the orders of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, citing safety reasons. Incidentally, the regional media owners did assure the authorities that all sites had been inspected and approved by the Civil Engineer of the Corporation, but apparently that has had no impact on the decision of the municipal body.
Along with the OOH campaign, the regional media owners are also planning a day long protest in Hyderabad, likely to take place on 23rd December, subject to permissions issued by the police department.