The Advertising Association of Nepal (AAN) has criticised the policy to distribute government advertisements to the media in a proportionate manner. It is a replication of former king Gyanendra's one-door system in advertisement, they said in a national meeting today.
Former king Gyanendra had introduced a one-door system on February 1, 2006, during his direct rule to influence the media. But the decision was revoked after continuous struggle by advertising agencies. "The UCPN-Maoist led government has introduced the proportionate distribution system after seven years and AAN is against it," said president of the association Raj Kumar Bhattarai.
The policy aims to distribute advertisements of government agencies to newspapers, radios (including FMs), television channels and others in a proportionate manner.
According to AAN, despite the cabinet decision on the advertisement policy on January 31, 2013, authorities have not provided details of it to the association. "The government has not provided us a copy of the decision, so we believe there is something suspicious in it," he said, adding that the advertising sector will not accept it at any cost. AAN will fight it and compel the government to withdraw it, he added.
About 178 advertisement agencies are in operation in the country and doing business worth about Rs 3.5 billion. The advertisement market has been stagnant due to slow economic growth following the political instability and turmoil for years.
The association has warned the government that it will fight the decision in court. It has also sought support from intellectuals and professionals for their protest. AAN will also take to the streets if the decision is not withdrawn soon, Bhattarai warned.