In Feb 2020, the city’s municipal administration had called for the removal of rooftop formats that are 60 feet above ground level, an order which OOH players say will cause revenue loss of Rs 200 cr
Department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) under Government Orders (GO) number 68 imposed a policy relating to the safety of pedestrians in February’20.
The law authorised outdoor formats that are limited to 15 feet above ground level and emphasised on the removal of rooftop formats located 60 feet above ground level. The issue at hand has been appealed to the High Court of Telangana by the OOH media owners.
However, there hasn’t been any headway on the development of the case as the hearings are taking place virtually due to COVID.
After the law was passed, over 300-400 rooftop media sites and uni polls have been removed, citing safety reasons. A Hyderabad media owner shared that, “We pleaded our case assuring the that all owned media sites had been inspected and approved by authorities but evidently, that did not work in our favour. There has been no impact on the decision of the municipal body.”
The appeal made by OOH Owners states that 5 lakh people rely directly and indirectly on the regional OOH industry and this order could lead to a 200 crore rupee loss of revenue.
Currently, the displays are permitted only on ground level media such as BQS and media sites below 15 feet height, Hyderabad metro media and outside of the GHMC district. Apart from the rooftop ban, there are size restrictions, limitations on the use of flashlights and non-static illumination, neon and glow signboards, and add-on advertising elements on cars and other vehicles.
The on-going OOH v/s Telangana government case is yet to see a clear verdict. OOH, Media Owners propose other methods like DOOH structures to help revive and gain back the losses incurred not just due to this policy but also due to the blackout period in the industry during the lockdown months. Due to the widespread challenge it poses for regional OOH players, The Outdoor Advertising Media Association had even appealed to the Minister of State Home Affairs Gangapuram Kishan Reddy last month but there hasn’t been any development on the issue at hand.