KUALA LUMPUR: A battle of billboards is raging along the highway to the KL International Airport (KLIA) and billboard companies want rules to stop the boards from blocking each other.
The number of billboards there is an eyesore, said Kurnia Outdoor Sdn Bhd marketing director Alex Yew.
In the stretch from Subang Jaya to KLIA, there are over 80 unipoles, and I believe there is nowhere in the world where there is such a high density in one area, added Yew.
More than an eyesore though is the practice of blocking by rogue outdoor business companies.
There is an unwritten ethical agreement that we (billboard owners) do not block each other, that we be about 200 to 300 metres away from each other, said Spectrum Outdoor Sdn Bhd director Henry Lau.
Apart from other outdoor companies, private landowners along the highway are also affected as companies often build billboards on private land and the blocking practice has brought the value of the land down.
When highway builders acquired this land, these landowners were paid little for it, so we went in and offered good rental, rental good enough to sustain them.
The landowners lose this income, as we have to look for somewhere else to put up our billboards. We may lose some money, but we are not the biggest losers, the landlords are, said Lau.
These grouses have not fallen on deaf ears.
The Sepang District Council (MDS) has warned advertising companies that have put up illegal billboards to apply for permits by Jan 15 or risk having them torn down.
Its public relations officer Zelda Mohd Zamri said the council had held a meeting with the relevant companies last week to voice its unhappiness over illegal billboards.
We have told the companies to apply for permits before Jan 15 or we will be forced to tear them down, she said.
The councils enforcement unit was currently running a check on the billboards, she said.
Zelda said if the companies did not have permits it also meant that they had failed to pay advertising fees to the council.
The council charges RM5,000 for a 12-month term for billboards, RM20,000 for unipoles and RM10,000 for advertisements placed on parapets along bridges.
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