Lebanon Businessnews News

Outdoor advertising
under new rules
Billboard chaos expected to be reduced
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A new decree regulating outdoor advertising is now in force. It was published in the Official Gazette on January 22, 2015.

According to Antonio Vincenti, CEO of Pikasso, this decree is very permissive. “It will allow a large increase in the number of billboards that could reach up to 4,000 new billboards.”

The decree has specified 17 locations where ads are allowed. These include: Sports arenas, parking lots, bus stations, resorts, sites under construction, building entrances, building walls, closed facades, rooftops, stores and office facades, ports and airports, gas stations, roundabout islands, bridges, malls, on vehicles, in streets and gardens. Conditions apply when it comes to strict measurements and sizes related to the location of each advertisement.

Vincenti said that several positive points were settled by the new regulation. These primarily include the distance from the main road, which was previously problematic. “The distance where billboards were allowed was between four to five meters away from the road, which is not logical. With the new decree, we are allowed to install billboards at 1.5 m away, which is more reasonable.”

Vincenti said that installing billboards in parking lots was previously penalized, but is now allowed under the new decree.

Georges Chehwane, Chairman of Group Plus Media, said that the new decree has set the size of private billboards, by only eight square meters. “This will reduce the chaos caused by large billboards especially on main roads.”

The decree also specified 15 locations where ads are strictly prohibited. These include: Public administration buildings, archeological and touristic sites, religious sites and cemeteries, electricity and telephone poles and trees, over bridges and tunnel entries, city signs, speed limit signs, stoplights, street walls, garden fences, building balconies and walls, water fronts, signs to shopping centers, schools or hospitals, on water tanks and on buildings that are legally contested.

The decree also included chapters related to electronic advertisements and LED boards. Chehwan said that animation is no longer allowed. Owners of animated billboards can only use them for static ads. The decree has also regulated the amount and level of light used on each billboard.

The decree mentioned that outdoor advertising certification requests must be presented by an authorized commercially registered company. The request is presented to the municipality, the governorate, and to the Qaem Maqam, outside the municipal mandate.

Each advertiser will be authorized to have only ten percent of the allowed number of billboards within a particular municipality.

According to Chehwan, only the application of the decree will reveal its benefits or drawbacks. Vincenti said that if the results were not satisfactory, negotiation and dialogue with the official authorities will be requested to find the best solutions.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Feb 02, 2015
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