Wherever you go, they follow...

Wherever you go, they follow...

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) may be keeping a close watch on the advertisements that go up on large hoardings and claims to be doing its bit to tear down illegal posters. But the authorities seem to have missed the clandestine advertising resorted to by private firms that hang small boards on the gates of residential buildings on busy roads and lanes across the City. They don’t seem interested in using their powers in this regard. 

Metrolife spotted ugly advertisement boards of all shapes and sizes on the gates of residences — brightly coloured with the brand’s name in bold and a ‘no parking’ tag printed on it. Many of the gates paraded three to four boards and the BBMP seems to have no clue on how to control this trend. 

BBMP Commissioner M Laksminarayana says they haven’t really thought about controlling this sort of advertisement in the City. “This is a pure commercial activity which is of no consequence to us and we don’t really want to get stuck with small things like this. This advertisement neither brings us revenue nor is there a loss of revenue.”  

The BBMP officials concede that they do not have enough manpower to regulate this illegal advertising. A senior official with the BBMP says, “These products get so much visibility at no cost at all. It is obvious that the ad agencies make huge money in all this as the commissions are huge. We don’t have enough manpower to ensure that these small ads are pulled down.” 

While the BBMP has admitted that there is no ready-made provision in law to weed out these illegal boards, house owners seem puzzled. Some do not seem to mind as these ads have a ‘no parking’ tag to them. But some are furious that the eyesores sprang up overnight on their gates. Some clever residents had ripped off the sponsor’s name and only let the ‘no parking’ writing stay. Prasanna Kumar M, an employee with the IBM, feels people have no regard for rules and disrespect one another. “The boards don’t help anyone. They are just a marketing strategy for companies and I think more than anything, the ordinary people need to be educated. Only when people start respecting each other will they respect the law. Else they will feel they can do anything they want,” informs Prasanna. 

Binu, an IT professional, feels this is a clever marketing trick. “At the first sight, you think these boards help you ward off unnecessary parking in front of your house. But soon you realise that this is just an insidious method used by private firms to avoid paying the advertisement fee. It seems the BBMP has a right to penalise such illegal advertisers and house owners but looks like nobody is bothered,” reasons Binu who also thinks that the company’s name is always bigger than the ‘no parking’ sign. 

Suhasini Rajaratnam, a housewife, confesses that there are at least three such small boards hanging on her gate at any given time. “I have removed these boards as they spoil the look of the house but within no time they reappear. It’s like a virus that can’t be killed. The authorities too don’t seem to be concerned about controlling or even regulating this menace,” she sums up.   

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