AMA to ensure sanity in Out of Home Advertising Space

Accra, The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is resolved to ensure sanity prevails within the Out of Home Advertising Space in its quest to improve on the management of the City.

Mr Mohamed Nii Adjei Sowah, Chief Executive Officer, AMA, said the Outdoor Advertising, now universally known as Out of Home Advertising was undoubtedly a lucrative business as well as a promising internally generating revenue source available to the AMA.

Mr Sowah, who was speaking during the World Standards Day Celebration in Accra, said the components of Out of Home Advertising include billboards, business signages, wall branding, streetlight signs, road arches, vehicle branding, taxi advertising, LED-signs, bus shelter, posters, directional signs, flag poles and out-of-home sales promotional activities.

The dynamic nature of the Industry attracts several players with varied interests in Outdoor Advertising. This has in recent times resulted in the haphazard, uncontrolled and unsystematic display of out of home advertising within the Metropolis, he added.

The event, on the theme Standards Make Cities Smarter, which falls on Saturday, October 14, is being organised by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

Each year on October 14, the members of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) celebrate World Standards Day.

The Day is celebrated as a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide, who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards.

Mr Sowah said some of the issues affecting outdoor advertising include haphazard mounting of billboards without permit, mounting in unauthorised locations, default in payment and mounting of sub-standard boards as well as lack of maintenance.

He said this was resulting in the collapse of billboards, which puts the safety of city dwellers at risk, limited application of technology in the management of out of home advertising, inadequate supervision, and an antagonistic relationship among stakeholders in Out of home Advertising, only to mention few.

He said in as much as the City Authority exist to provide opportunities and an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, especially the private sector, there must be an effective system in place that coordinates these activities and ensures that things are done right and in an orderly manner.

With this backdrop in mind, it has become imperative that as the City Authority, we adopt a uniform policy guideline with respect to the management of outdoor advertising, he said.

Mr Sowah said the AMA, in collaboration with key stakeholders and experts had almost completed a policy document that would address challenges enumerated earlier and adopt innovative practices to exploit the huge potential that a well regulated and managed out of home advertising industry presents to the City of Accra.

He said the document was christened Smart Procedures And Standards for Out Of Home (Outdoor) Advertisement.

He said it seeks to address the legal framework, standards and procedures for Out of home advertising; adding that, ultimately, it would enhance the beautification of the City and ensure safety.

In view of this, the Assembly has currently placed a suspension on the mounting of new outdoor advertising structures within the City of Accra. It is anticipated that by the end of November, 2017, the policy document would be ready for the ban to be lifted, he said.

I must say that our stakeholders have been very supportive in this direction, including the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) and the Ghana Standards Authority, he said.

Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director General, GSA, in a speech read on his behalf, said international standards support the development of tailor-made solutions that could be adapted to the circumstances of a given city.

They contained expert knowledge and best practices, and are essential enablers in ensuring quality and performance of products and services. In addition, they drive compatibility between technologies and help users to compare and choose the best solution available, he said.

Mr Martin Olu-Davies, Head of Health, Safety, Security and Environment, GOIL, who chaired the function, said the International Standards Day, would create awareness for everybody to know that in everything that we do, we have to put standards in place; which would go a long to ensure a better environment.

Source: Ghana News Agency