No demand for traditional publicity materials

Stringent code of conduct dents prospects of banner makers

No demand for traditional publicity materials

Any election is incomplete without badges, stickers and flags of various political parties during the election campaign. Similarly, cut-outs, banners and posters are also in high demand during election rallies organised in different places in the city.

However, the stringent norms prescribed under the Election Model Code of conduct has made a dent in the sales of materials associated with election campaign, leaving the makers in a lurch. 

Ravikanth, who runs the city’s oldest publicity material making business recalls that he used to get bundles of orders to print cotton banners and stickers. “Every time during elections, be it the local body, Assembly, or Lok Sabha polls, we used to get orders from various political parties for flags, paper stickers and other campaign material. Earlier it was all handmade stuff, so the cost was more.

 But with new technologies, many small shops have sprung up who use DTP and other methods to print more material at cheaper rates. But now, with stringent norms in place, we have lost our business,” he said.

Another publicity professional Vivek says that earlier during elections t-shirts with party symbols, key chains, badges and flags were sold like hot cakes. Even orders for large and medium flex banners and cut outs were in great demand. Along with it, Ad agencies also made good business with advertisements being given in newspapers and on radio.

However, the low sale of election materials has not hampered the sale of dress materials symbolising political parties, as salwars and kurta pyjamas are on the priority list of all the party workers. 

Other materials like sarees, watches, cloth pieces, gift vouchers are however being sold like hotcakes with parties shelling out hundreds of thousands of rupees.

Loudspeakers

The story is similar for those dealing with announcements and sound systems. Restrictions on use of loudspeakers during campaigns, has hit this business. Also, some parties have started using vehicles equipped with LED screens to play videos of speeches made by their leaders. 

AAP caps

When Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement was in peak in the country, his followers thronged to khadi shops to buy caps in the city. 

Of late, the trend has been reversed as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activists started donning polyurethane caps which are cheaper than khadi. While a khadi cap is priced Rs 35 to 40, polyurethane caps cost just Rs 5.

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