Do we Need BTL Advertising in Capital?

We have over 20 billion Rs (all below figures are in Pakistan Rupees) annual business of advertising in Pakistan – out of which 70 percent is shared by multi-national and other private sector while rest of 30 % comes from the public sector.

Multinationals companies advertise to capture the market in Pakistan as per their products and business plans. They come up with allocated budgets and a comprehensive business strategy in order to materialize their goals (normally the sales). For last decade or so, we have seen telecom as the biggest player, which has changed the advertising business with its over 4 billion spending per year in advertising sector.

EMAAR Pakistan is the biggest client in real estate and so is its budget for advertising; they have a budget of over one billion for media and advertising. CENTAURUS happens to be another big real estate mega project in Islamabad which has over 50 Crore of advertising budget. Interestingly, EMAAR is the biggest world wide company that has investments in over 20 countries in developing different mega projects.

Other multinationals like P&G, Mobilink, and Telenor Pakistan, all have contributed well to change the scene of advertising industry in our country. These companies are more realistic and focused at their approach and remain active in the length and breadth of the country. These companies have good presence even in the remotest parts of the country in the shape of posters in the shops and local bazaars.

As we see that these multinationals approach their goals with a systematic and strategic way, with a dedicated theme and results in mind, unfortunately, this is not the case with public sector.

I want to mention those billions of rupees which are wasted every year by the government by ordinary planning and with no obligation at all. According to one estimate, we have spending of over 5 billion annually on advertising which only registers in the capital, where BTL (Banners and Hoardings) has a big share as advertising channel.

The BTL (Banners & Hoardings) are practiced mostly in big cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar to fill the budget. I believe BTL in big areas, especially in capital is purpose less, and my logic is that these cities already have good level of awareness about the issue – government officials could make it through a single press conference or news release but we have spent over 50 crore in BTL.

Here, I would like to suggest following steps to improve the current situation;

  • PM should ask every department to give the monthly report of their performance and savings of money where possible.
  • Banners and hoardings should be banned for public sectors.
  • All the heads should have good reputation and committed to the national interest.
  • As the Director of NRB was suggesting in a meeting last week, we need political will and commitment to improve the good governance in the country. We should be held responsible for every decision we make and every step we take.
  • As English media is very poor and the readers have already good level of awareness so such advertising should not be given to English media.
  • Collective responsibility is need from every one of us to fully utilise all the resources in the country.

I hope that the policy makers will do some thing in the greatest interest of the country. We should adopt a realistic and national approach while making any decision in our business matters.