Draft ad regulations contradictory, says AMLI

Some article I spied off the Internet - taken from the Jakarta Post on Jul 23 2009. I have not analysed the attached article in detail, but the implications will be far-reaching since the Jl. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman areas are such prominent locations in the Jakarta City... Any comments/ updates out there?

My observations of general Out of Home Advertising in Jakarta in an article posted in 2008.

Draft ad regulations contradictory, says AMLI
By Benget Besalicto Tnb. , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Thu, 07/23/2009 1:38 PM

Businesspeople have called on the city administration not to pass the draft of a gubernatorial decree on outdoor advertising, claiming that it contains contradictory articles, an executive with the association said Wednesday.

"It contains a number of contradictory articles. It's still a draft, but as it could be the final draft before being passed into law by the administration, we are afraid that it will result in inconsistent implementation," said Nuke Mayasaphira, the secretary general of the Indonesian Outdoor Media Association.

Nuke said that article 9 and 49 of the draft advertisement regulation were contradictory.

Article 9 refers to advertisement-free zones, dubbed "white areas", where outdoor advertisements would be completely banned, including along main city roads such as Jl. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta. However, article 49 gives the governor the authority to make exceptions to this rule in all city areas.

The regulation is expected to map the city into zones where outdoor advertisements will be either prohibited, tightly controlled, moderately controlled or completely controlled.

"If certain areas are designated as white areas, but exceptions are permitted, this could lead to collusion. It will not only harm the interests of the government in regulating the city, but will also harm the interests of other businessmen," she

She said that unclear rules about the exception could lead to further violations of the regulation, such as those that had already occurred in certain banned areas.

She pointed out the administration should accompany its planned decree with clear guidelines on how space should be categorized.

"We need legal certainty to avoid any unfair practices when the regulation is implemented," she added.

AMLI's chairman Aip Syarifuddin concurred with Nuke, pointing out that outdoor advertisements had already been displayed in "white areas", including LED displays on Jl. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman, and at road junctions on Jl. Proklamasi, Jl. Senopati and Jl. Parman in Central and South Jakarta.

He pointed out that the city bylaw on advertising should strictly rule that advertisements should not be installed near traffic signs as they could distract the attention of motorists that could lead to traffic accidents.

"For example, the LED near the traffic light in front of the Sarinah shopping complex on Jl. Thamrin is very distracting."

Aip said the city administration had received more than Rp 350 billion (US$30 million) in total tax income from outdoor advertisements alone and that the administration should not only focus on tax income.

"We support the city administration's efforts to develop Jakarta as a service city through the issuance of the bylaw. However, it should create legal certainty and a level playing field for all players to do business and to do so should ensure the laws are clear," he said.

Aip also said that city regulations previously stipulated that outdoor advertisements larger than 24 square meters were only allowed in 160 areas, but were now permitted in 400 areas.

He also asked the administration to set up an effective service that would license advertisements; ideally one that would be free of illegal fees and would not waste company time.

It is in my humble opionion that the most effective form of licensing is self-regulation by an elected board with a good mix of industry players, urban planners and architects. ie all the stakeholders that know why and how to grow a vibrant, colourful and balanced city that is for the economic well being of the city. Taxpayers' money should be well governed and business interest must be protected in poor economic times as such. Long gone are the days when the goverment is the single authority on anything anymore...