The outdoor industry says it has been saved from “disaster” following a decision to amend planning laws covering advertising campaigns.
The Outdoor Advertising Association (OAA) and legal advocacy expert AS Biss & Co have successfully challenged proposals – currently being presented to Parliament as the London Local Authorities Bill – which could have resulted in swingeing fines and bans for directors of media owners and advertisers.
Under the proposed laws – set out by the Association of London Government as part of attempts to curb flyposting – companies breaching certain advertising regulations could have been fined &£20,000. After three convictions – each carrying a fine – directors at both the outdoor company and the advertising client faced disqualification for five years.
Existing regulations in the Town & Country Planning Act of 1990 punish guilty companies with &£2,500 fines for various offences, including failing to prove they had owned a site for 30 years when challenged by a local authority.
But the OAA and Biss say confusion in the new Bill has been clarified. The proposals now refer solely to “any advertising affixed to any surface without the authority of the surface owner” – flyposting.
Alan James, OAA chief executive, says: “A law which said directors of agencies and their clients could be struck off for three minor planning offences would have been a disaster for the advertising industry as a whole.”