Slower the traffic in City, higher the ad agency profits

Slower the traffic in City, higher the ad agency profits

BBMP sleeps as hoardings attract more eyeballs at signals, jammed roads

Slower the traffic in City, higher the ad agency profits

There are some people in the City who are not complaining about endless waits at traffic signals. Outdoor advertising agencies are smiling as their hoardings at busy junctions are attracting more eyeballs due to slow movement of vehicles.

When the market of outdoor advertising agencies is getting bigger and better, the cash-strapped Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), however, is not doing much to cash in on the boom.

When the Bengaluru airport can earn about Rs 75 crore a year from advertising, why can’t the BBMP, which has control over a larger geographical area? It has the potential to earn at least Rs 500 crore a year, urban expert V Ravichander told Deccan Herald.

“But, it’s not doing it. This is nothing but dereliction of duty and mismanagement of revenues,” he said, condemning the proposal to increase property taxes.

Rakesh Padachuri, director of Jagadish Advertising feels that increase in volume of vehicles and waiting time at traffic signals has resulted in greater demand for billboards in the City.

“The advertisement hoardings are able to attract lakhs of two-wheeler and car users at any given stretch. The hoardings are strategically placed depending on the visibility. Other than the central business districts (CBD), the new developing areas like Sarjapur and Marathahalli too are in demand,” he says.

Padachuri said agencies generally charge Rs 2.5 lakh a month for a billboard placed in places like MG Road and Brigade Road while they charge around Rs 1 lakh on Kanakapura Road and newly developing areas.

Earlier, an internal report filed by K Mathai, BBMP Assistant Commissioner (Advertisement), pointed out that the BBMP lost revenues of Rs 2,000 crore in the last eight years due to illegal advertisements.

“On an average, the BBMP earns Rs 20 crore a year and has generated revenues of about Rs 100 crore in the last five years. However, there is a potential to earn at least five times this figure,” he said, implying a nexus between politicians, government officers and advertisers.

On an average, the BBMP earns Rs 15 lakh a year from  each of its 198 wards, while the potential is as high as Rs 10 crore. “We were able to collect Rs 3 crore only from Shantala Nagara ward in just 45 days. If this could be replicated in all other wards, the revenue will go up by crores and can be used for development. But, this is not happening in a systematic way,” Mathai said.

Another official said that about 318 advertising agencies and about 3,000 hoardings are registered with the BBMP, while more than 2,000 hoardings were illegal. “The process of issuing licences was stopped in the last two years and resumed this year. We received about 68 applications in the last few weeks,” he said.

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