Eco-friendly Alternative To Replace Flex Hoardings In India 2019


A new eco-friendly substitute for hoarding and banners is being introduced to replace flex hoardings. Aiming to curb the widespread use of PVC Flex hoardings. The most common appliance of this flex substitute is in curtains and jackets. The durability of this material the ability to recycle is one of many reasons why this material is gaining attention in the display advertising business.

Since Flex ban, BBMP is proactively removing illegal hoardings after the High Courts deadline. BBMP claimed that “Up to 94,000 unauthorized flexes and hoardings have been removed in the past 4 years”

However that is not the last you saw of hoardings, new alternative material has been proposed by advertisers as a substitute for Plastic flex. And BBMP has approved this fabric for hoardings. Sitting on tenders to display advertisements for the next 20 to 30 years, advertisers had to think on their feet to stop their losses from piling up following the ban.

Advertising Industry Feedback

Advertisers say that the new material that has been proposed as an option for flex is good for outdoor advertising as it’s water and sun proof. Subbu, a fabric expert claims,

“This is a synthetic fabric. This could be either polyester or nylon. Usually, this fabric is used in jackets or sportswear from reputed brands. This kind of fabric is known for its durability.”

BBMP Chief  Mr. N Manjunatha Prasad also shared his thoughts on the new plastic-free hoarding and banner material-

“Yes, the advertisers proposed an alternative fabric instead of flex. They have also brought a letter from the National Textile Corporation certifying that the fabric is not harmful to the environment and it is bio-degradable.”

This material is limited and is only allowed to be used by the advertisers who have been elected tenders using the Public-private partnership model.

“But this material is is limited to advertisers who have won tenders for projects under the Public Private Partnership model. They will be paying advertisement taxes every year and meanwhile, they can generate their revenue for the works they have taken up.”

The flex ban and the drive against illegal hoardings have hit both advertisers and the civic body. Advertisers awarded tenders for display advertisements for the next 20 years on skywalks and bus shelters under Private Public Participation (PPP) model claim they are suffering more as the cost of the project has increased by multi folds compared to the initial cost on which the tender was awarded.

However, the Cost factor for the fabric option vs flex is not very economical. Says an advertiser,

“The price of flex material used to be Rs 10 per sq ft, but this fabric costs us Rs 80 per sq ft. The cost of production has now risen by 800% compared to our earlier production costs. But we have no choice as we have already paid the taxes. If the entire process has to go on smoothly, the BBMP has to ensure a complete ban on the flex materials so that we can also fix the advertisement rates according to the investments we are making. The new and expensive fabric can also bring down the menace of unauthorized flex hoardings in the city”

What 2019 holds for Flex businesses in India?

The BBMP budget (2018-19) had estimated Rs 75.25 Cr tax collection from advertisement tax and cess collection. According to BBMP’s data, it has collected Rs 27.20 Cr in the 2017-18 financial year.

Ex-Assistant Commissioner, Advertisement, BBMP claims they have offered tenders to advertising agencies to construct 25 skywalks under the PPP model for 30 years, 500 bus shelters for 20 years and BBMP toilets and flyovers to generate revenue. These tenders can allow BBMP could earn up to Rs 2,000 Cr through hoardings.

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