In the wake of the recent financial fallout due to COVID-19, Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) has made a formal request to the central and the various state governments and municipal corporations to take effective measures to help save the media owners from going bankrupt. The OOH industry has been hit hard because of the nation-wide lockdown as major campaigns and launches have been withheld by companies. This has dealt a severe blow to the Indian outdoor advertising industry whose estimate losses can run in crores. As a result, the jobs of millions of people in the advertising industry could be jeopardized.
The media body has estimated the drop in revenue of the OOH industry to be around 2500 crore INR which is half the approximate annual revenue of 5000 crore INR. To save themselves from the looming financial crisis, IOAA has requested the various government bodies to enforce the following measures:
- Complete abrogation from the collection of all forms of ‘advertisement tax’.
- Forgo at least half of the ‘license fee’ for the upcoming financial year 2020-21.
- Postpone the submission of GST for the financial year 2020-21 to 2021-22.
- Put back all OOH tenders and auctions until September 2020 and prolong the contract of the existing licenses till then.
- Ensure the payment of the salaries/ wages of the workers who are the direct victims of COVID-19 and as a result, can’t resume work; and
- To treat the pandemic as a natural disaster in order to draw the ‘Force Majeure’ clause of all the signed contracts.
IOAA further went on to make a demonstration citing all their claims but haven’t yet received a response from the concerned government bodies. Moreover, the OOH body has also partnered up with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This will further strengthen their position to lay grounds of an understanding with the union government on the matters concerning the OOH industry.
IOAA, in its demonstration, has also called on the attention of all the government bodies on the importance of the OOH industry in public messaging. The body appealed to all the governing bodies to support them in these times of global economic fallout. IOAA laid stress in the critical role they have been playing to spread awareness about COVID-19 for the last few weeks. Consequently, the apex body hopes there will be mutual and unwavering support in this distress from both the ends.