A unique medium that communicates to all audiences on the go is outdoor advertising. The advertisement will be seen by everyone motoring by a billboard, drivers and passengers. Over the last 20 years, there has been a substantial increase nationwide in dual income families, multiple car ownership, and suburban residency, resulting in many more vehicles on the road. Ever-increasing numbers of people commute to work, and must drive to shopping and other activities. This development brought both positive and negative results which forced some countries take measures concerning outdoor advertisements. One of them is Shanghai.
Outdoor ad control in Shanghai
A new regulation was developed in order to provide a firmer grip on Shanghai's outdoor advertisement facilities. This regulation will replace a former 1991 version, said Jiao Yang, spokeswoman for the city government. The rules will bring some 20,000 outdoor billboards and displays highway under better control and stipulate standards for the future ones.
"More than 9,000 inappropriate outdoor billboards in the city, either in improper position or too big, as well as displays highway will be either renovated or taken down," said Liu Weiguang, an official from the Shanghai City Appearance and Environmental Sanitation Bureau.
"This is an effort to make the city more beautiful and safer in the run-up to the World Expo which will be held in Shanghai in 2010."
A campaign to remove potentially unsafe outdoor billboards and display highways started in Shanghai in the middle of last year. It was the result of the fell of some billboards in windy weather. "Five accidents involving outdoor billboards and displays highway happened from July to September," said Liu. "In addition, huge billboards standing just beside the elevated highway disturb drivers and might cause accidents too."
More than 120 billboards and displays highway were taken down by September. They were within 100 metres of the elevated highway within the Inner Ring Road. Those companies whose billboards are still within the lease contract but have to be taken down will be compensated by the district governments.
Under the new rules, it is required to perform regular safety checks and renovations of the Shanghai highway billboards, displays highway and billboards in the city.
"Any billboards more than two years old must be checked every year before June 1, usually the beginning of the city's flood season," said Liu. "The penalty for not conducting the check could be up to 30,000 yuan (US$3,600)."
Jiao explained that the aim of the regulation is alleviation of the high pressure on city's car pool. Especially this is concerned vehicles in the downtown area. "The price of a parking space within the Inner Ring Road and outside it, and that of peak time and non-peak time could be very different," said Jiao.
"And to urge the drivers to park cars in designated spaces instead of parking them by the sidewalk to save money, the charge for parking along the road will be much higher. It is also a measure to bring traffic in the downtown area during rush hours under better control."