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When corporate interests prevail over state ones

The retrograde part of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, together with the “Udar” party, have killed a progressive bill on the outdoor advertising market.

Let us remind you that a comprehensive draft law aimed at profound improvement of the legislative regulation in the field of outdoor advertising had been prepared with the involvement of various stakeholders – the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Expression and Information Policy in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, representatives of the advertising business and experts.

Together with other authors, we proposed to introduce at the level of law:

  • uniform rules for the placement of advertisements following a licensing procedure and a clear list of licensing authorities;
  • a single legislative procedure for the issuing (refusal to issue, cancellation, renewal, extension of the validity period) of the permissions for the placement of external advertising;
  • a transparent payment mechanism;
  • a clear and transparent procedure for dismantling unauthorized advertising structures;
  • for the first time, at the legislative level, there would be unified requirements regarding the distance between advertising structures (depending on their size), which would enable cities to take under control the placement of the advertising media and improve the way the streets look;
  • due to a competitive procedure for obtaining permits, business would receive a transparent mechanism for acquiring the right to place outdoor advertising in a competitive way, protecting its investments and the possibility to plan activities for 5-10 years, not for a year or two.

The draft law also provided for the implementation of an open electronic database of advertising tools, through which everyone could obtain information about issued permits, contracts for outdoor advertising, the cost of a temporary use of a location of outdoor advertising in the event that such a place is in municipal or state property and so on.

Generally speaking, regulation of the sphere of outdoor advertising (both within cities and outside them) could have reduced the number of advertisements in the streets of cities by 40-60%, attract investments for urban improvement and significantly increase revenues to local budgets.

But this did not come true. The country received another shameful failure. And those who wish to subjugate the advertising market – received a “green light”.

Oleksandr Opanasenko
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