A one day conference on Out of Home Advertising has opened in Accra with a focus to validate a draft policy document to regulate activities of advertising agencies in Accra.
The conference which is the first of its kind in Ghana is being facilitated by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly ( AMA) and the Advertising Association of Ghana which "seeks to provide a platform for stakeholders to make valuable inputs into the draft policy guidelines and standards to ensure sanity in the metropolis."
Addressing participants, the Chief Executive Officer of AMA, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, said views and inputs were solicited from the Advertising Association of Ghana, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Institution of Engineers, National Petroleum Authority, Ghana Highways Authority, Ghana Road Safety Authority and Department of Urban Roads and other key stakeholders to ensure that all interests and concerns were properly addressed before the draft of the policy document.
He said the document christened “Smart Procedures and Standards for Out of Home (Outdoor ) Advertisement " seeks to focus on how the Assembly can effectively and efficiently manage Out of Home Advertising activities.
He intimated that despite gains made from outdoor advertising, its related activities have had some negative impact on the city’s beautification, security and safety thereby creating challenges, adding that the "Assembly is committed to ensure sanity in the industry."
He said the document was in three parts , the first part focusing on the Legal and Institutional Framework governing out of home advertising whiles the second and third spells out the procedures and requirements leading to obtaining a Permit , and the Standards (Specifications of Advertising Infrastructure ) for Out of Home Advertising respectively.
He announced that the Assembly had placed a temporary ban on out of home advertising and its related activities and was hopeful that the document would be finalized and ready by the end of December 31, 2017, for the ban to be lifted.
" Although we have imposed a ban on mounting billboards,we still see people mounting them....we will remove them when we sight any," he said.
He urged participants to embrace the new systems and standards that would contribute towards making the city and nation Smart.
Mr Joel Edmund Nettey, President of the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) and Chief Executive of Innova DDB Ghana, in an opening remark identified the lack of clear demarcations of boundaries for assemblies as one of the major challenges facing the industry
adding that "advertising agencies have had to deal with contemptuous issues between the AMA, Ga South Municipal Assembly , LEKMA and LADMA, Tema and LEKMA and Tema and Kpone Katamanso."
He commended the AMA for developing a document to regulate outdoor advertising within the metropolis and appealed to the ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to invite other assemblies across the country to collaborate with the AAG to sanitize the system.
Mr. Nattey was hopeful that decisions and agreements made at the end of the conference would create a conducive environment for out of home advertising agencies.
Some participants who spoke to the media pledged to work with the policy document when ready.