Billboards have been hung on every space in big cities, on the roads to the airports, above buildings and houses, at schools and in parks. Urbanites now can live well with the new job of leasing space to billboards.
Countless images of numberless products and services, from dish washing liquid luxurious cars, from cosmetics to cakes, now can be seen everywhere in big cities.
Billboards mushrooming everywhere
A beautiful and fashionable girl is seen standing next to an Attilta scooter on the crossroads of Hang Xanh in Binh Thanh district of HCM City. Next to the scooter and the fashionable girl are a lot of nutrition sausages for the youth. Commercial banks, namely Dai A Bank and Bao Viet Bank also occupy their positions at the busy crossroads.
On the other side of the road, people can see a lot of billboards showing the images of foreign language centers or brewery products. Each house bears on its shoulders at least one or a lot of billboards. The boards have been surrounding the houses, leaving the entrance doors only.
Pham Minh Phuoc, a local resident said that the billboards can turn landlords into billionaires. They would pocket hundreds of millions of dong a year from every billboard set up on the space around their houses.
The space leasing fee for billboards has always been very high because of the high demand. Manufacturers and service providers believe that it would be better to install billboards to advertise their products than posting ad shots on TVs, printing or online newspapers. Though they have to spend big money to lease space, their products would be more easily catch the eyes of the public.
Not only arising on commercial hub areas, billboards have also been set up at schools, from nursery schools to high schools. At the entrance door to the Hong Ha primary school in Binh Thanh district, one can see the words “Our school is green, clean and beautiful” and the image of Cream-O biscuit.
A wide range of products and services have been introduced to students and their parents with such the billboards. The products could be sweets, dairy products, while the services could be live skill training courses or foreign language centers. There are a lot of centers for parents’ choice, including Dong Du, Tan Van, Hoa Van, Thuong Mai, EMG Education (Your Bridge To International success).
Le Ngoc Diep, Head of the Primary Education Division of the HCM City Education and Training Department, said that enterprises now can enter schools through different ways. Some of them donate schools the boards, which can be used as notice boards. Of course, on the boards, one would see the names, the logos and the images of products on the boards, which proves to be a very effective advertisement method.
“I cannot understand why schools accept this, if this badly affects the schooling environment,” he said.
Enterprises ignore regulations
According to the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the department has granted 22,500 licenses on implementing outdoors advertisement projects to enterprises and organisations over the last five years.
However, the number of billboards seen in the city is really much higher than the above mentioned figure. This means that a lot of billboards have still been installed without the permission of competent agencies. Even lamp posts, electricity poles, telephone boxes and trees could be used as the places for advertisement boards.
Under the current regulations, the billboards on highways must be installed on vacant area and 20 meters far from people’s houses, while a billboard must not be larger than 1.2x8m. However, in fact, no standard and no regulation has been followed by enterprises.