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MAYOR STRIKES - Clampdown on ads on vehicles

By TEINO EVANS, Staff Reporter

MAYOR OF KINGSTON, Desmond McKenzie, is planning to clampdown on advertising on buses and cars - which is fast becoming a new fad in Jamaica.

Within the last year, party promoters and business persons have been utilising their private motor vehicles and even buses to promote their events, products and services to the public.

The Kingston Mayor, however, feels that this practice is a violation of the law, (Town and Country Planning Control Advertisement Regulation of 1978).

However, an analysis of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations, 1978 by THE WEEKEND STAR suggests support for Mayor McKenzie's plans is on shaky ground.

An excerpt from the Act says:

3. (1) 'These regulations shall apply to the display of advertisement on all land, the subject of development orders except any advertisement-

3. (1) (c) Displayed on or in a vehicle.'

'For the purposes of this regulation -

3. (2) (c) "Vehicle" means a vehicle normally employed as a moving vehicle on the sea, any highway or railway, or a vessel normally employed as a moving vessel on any inland waterway: but shall not include any such vehicle or vessel during any period when it is used primarily for the display of advertisements.'

But Mayor McKenzie is gung ho about the planned clampdown.

"All of that (advertising on motor vehicles) requires KSAC approval. The law is quite clear, once the public is exposed to your advertising and whether it be an event, item or business, it falls under the Town and Country Planning Act," Mayor McKenzie said.

According to Mayor McKenzie , much of these new forms of advertising stems from the recent clampdown on illegal billboards.

"A lot of that stems because we clamped down on the billboards, but it is still in violation. This one is more difficult to police, we will have to take a different approach and it is not something that we have worked out as yet," Mayor McKenzie said.

Mayor McKenzie said many bus and taxi operators, were charging thousands of dollars each year to advertise events.

"I am currently in the process of writing a letter to the head of the JUTC, [Jamaica Urban Transit Company]," Mayor McKenzie warned.

For a number of years the JUTC has been carrying advertisements on the side and back of their buses for many major Corporate companies.

Advertisers, however, say they were not aware of this and see no reason why they should not be allowed to paste stickers on their personal motor vehicles.

Warren Worms, a Portmore resident who advertises his awning business, says he doesn't agree with have restrictions on what he puts on his personal motor vehicle.

"How yuh fi charge mi fi mi own property, mi a deface mi own property and it's not like I have any lewd language being displayed on the car. I not even did know seh that was breaking the law," he said.

Michelle Baldie, one of the promoters for Hot Wheelz and event to be held next month says the Mayor is taking it a little too far.

"That is ridiculous, it's not even fixed on any property, but maybe they just want to attract a fee to everything now. Sometimes the graphics on the cars are not even advertising, but just a way of expressing yourself," Baldie said.

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July 22, 2005
 

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