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I&B Ministry releases new guidelines for Outdoor Publicity

By Bhawana Anand - March 02, 2021

The new policy has been designed to cater to the evolving nature of the OOH medium and to government organizations’ communications needs through proper guidelines regarding media planning, monitoring, rates list, etc.

The long-awaited Outdoor Publicity guidelines have been announced by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The aim to set new policy is to enable the Government for better outreach and mass communication through effective and people-centric creative content at optimal rates in a competitive, transparent and time-bound manner. This policy will also provide the stakeholders with a clear understanding of parameters and process of selection, job award, rate fixation and other related aspects for transparent and efficient execution of Outdoor Publicity.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is responsible for disseminating information on government policies, schemes and programmes through multiple media mass communication including radio, television, press, social media, internet, printed publicity, outdoor publicity and traditional modes of communication such as dance, drama, folk recitals, etc.

With outdoor publicity, an integral communication tool for government organisations, rapidly evolving, it has led to design a new policy.  “The outdoor media publicity space is evolving and spreading. In addition to traditional outdoor media (like wall painting, hoardings etc.), new technologies and new space for outdoor publicity have come up. It is important for the Ministry to determine modalities for engaging with such media platforms for assured reach,” states the policy document issued by the I&B Ministry.

The authority has segregated the media formats into four categories :

  • Outdoor Media - A media which is located at a place accessible to the members of public and viewable from a distance. The media may be stationary (such as hoardings, display boards, etc.) or mobile (such as Bus panels, Train wraps, etc.). The media may be static or digital based on display of content on the media.
  • Personal Media: The media which are available for consumption of individual member(s) of public, and not to the members of public in general, will be considered as Personal Media. These items include, but are not limited to, railway tickets, utility bills, access cards to the religious places, items associated with catering in Indian Railways, etc..
  • Category A media: This category will comprise all media for which an agency has obtained prior advertising/concessionaire rights from a civic body under Central/State/Local Government, or any other body under Central/ State/ Local Government, viz., Public Sector Enterprise (PSE), Joint Venture, a body constituted under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), etc. Since for these media, a particular agency obtains rights exclusively for specific locations, the rates will be fixed as per provisions of Rule 166 of General Financial Rules (GFR) 2017 on the recommendation of a Rate Committee, in the manner described in these guidelines.
  • Category B media: This category will consist of such media which are not covered under advertising rights and the agency does not have any prior agreement with, or exclusive rights from, any public or private body. In case of Category B media, BOC will float tender for empanelment of agencies and discovery of rates, in the manner described in these guidelines.
  • Category C media: This category will cover all such media which are new and innovative in nature and not covered in Category A or Category B but have high publicity value (HPV) due to their unique or new features. In order to be eligible under this category, a media should offer technologically driven means of verification.

As the new policy, the new rates of sites will be determined by BOC on the recommendation of a Rate Committee which will submit its recommendations to the Principal Director General (Pr. DG)/ Director General (DG), BOC. Pr. DG/ DG, and the BOC will be the competent authority for determination of rates, in case of Category A and Category C media.

The rates will be fixed according to several parameters such as Location and visibility of the media (ii) The reach and coverage of the media (iii) Display size (iv) Extent of media availability in the area where the media under consideration is located (v) Market value and media viability (vi) License fee (vii) Uniqueness and innovation offered by media (viii) Prevailing rates of similar media on BOC panel at comparable locations (ix) The quality of the material to be used for display or the clarity of display (i.e., vinyl/ flex/material quality specifications determined by sole rights authority, screen resolution, etc.) (x) Logistic and infrastructure cost incurred or liable to be incurred by agency, etc.

However, the policy mentions that the BOC will normally approve rate in the range of 60-75% of the average commercial rate depending on factors such as city and State/ UT where media is located, visibility of media, extent to which other media is available with BOC for same city/ location, BOC rate for other media in the vicinity, etc., provided the commercial work orders are credible.

Indeed, monitoring is a big challenge in the OOH industry and to solve that, the policy states that BOC reserves the right to do physical inspection of Outdoor sites for which an agency has sought BOC rates. 

For media planning aspect, the government has authorised BOC to prepare a media plan on the basis of needs and requirements of the client Ministry/Department, target audience, budget of the campaign, etc. In the media planning BOC will consider the suitability of location and media for a particular campaign. BOC will give preference to media in media dark areas as well as innovative media having higher visibility in the media plans. All Release Orders will be issued online by BOC.

Click here for the new policy 



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