The law on outdoor advertising must work

Unlike the era before modernization, communities used the town crier to announce events and to pass on critical information.

Today, there are mass media platforms like the newspaper, radio, television, billboards, flags, flyers, pop-ups on the phone screens, posters and social media platforms.

Whatever these media platforms are used for have periods within which they run.

In other words, the information carried on such platforms are adverts which expire and become irrelevant with the completion of the events they proclaim.

One event whose organisers patronize massive advertising is political campaign or electioneering.

During the election year, politicians patronize all manner of advertising means to send their messages and their pictures to the voting public. Prominent among such means are television, radio, newspaper, flags, flyers,billboards and posters.

Since politicians know not everyone would read their messages in newspapers or listen to them on radio or watch them on television, theymassively use billboards, posters and flyers in every corner of the country.

This works for them to send their messages to every individual, even if the person is not a voter.

However, one thing is worrying and that has to do with the fact even long after the elections are over, these politicians do not consider the irrelevance of the flyers, flags, posters and billboards and remove them from wherever they were hung or hoisted for electioneering.

Four months after the 2020 general election, for example, some campaign posters, banners, billboards and other outdoor campaign advertisements of various presidential and parliamentary candidates are everywhere in the country but are great nuisance in the cities, particularly Accra, as theyheavily litter the capital city.

The truth is that in spite their usefulness to the politicians, the flags, banners and posters in particular are torn and dirty and have worsened the existing untidiness caused by indiscriminately-placed outdoor adverts, thereby taking away the beauty of where they are place.

The Ghanaian Times knowsthat the politicians give the job to agents, so the question is, why are the adverts still in place all this while?

The paper has also observed indiscriminate outdoor adverts about jobs and office space vacancy, loans and financial services, church activities and other spiritual places, obituaries, medicine, and remedial classes everywhere in the country.

If the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies have byelaws against unlawful outdoor adverts and those that have lost their relevance, what are they doing to sanitise the situation?

It is about time the assemblies clear such undesirable or unlawful adverts to restore some beauty to our communities, particularly Accra, which President Nana AddoAkufo-Addo wants to make the cleanest city in Africa. 

The assemblies should stop the talking and act. The Ghanaian Times is only happy that even the Advertisers Association of Ghana (AAG) is concerned with outdoor advertising litteringand seeking the support to pull them down.

The law on outdoor advertising must work.

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