HCMC to stop auctions for bus advertisements

By Gia Minh   March 8, 2021 | 07:50 am GMT+7
HCMC to stop auctions for bus advertisements
A bus with an advertisement on its side at HCMC’s Mien Dong Bus Terminal. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh.
The HCMC Department of Transport has proposed that the auction for the right to advertise on buses be stopped, temporarily.

The proposal was made after the 3-year bus advertising contract with Japanese advertising agency Koa Sha Media ended this January.

Koa Sha Media was the only company that won the bid for a bus advertising package in 2017, allowing the company to advertise on the side of 492 buses for three years.

Since then, the transport department has made several changes to the advertising package for the auction, including allowing a flexible payback period and reducing the number of buses included in the package to attract small enterprises. However, all auctions were a complete failure, with not a single party bidding for the packages.

The failure is attributed to the fact that bus advertising is not as attractive as advertisements on social media and websites. It is also more expensive than other forms of advertising. Moreover, companies have to bid to be able to advertise their products on buses, which is a time consuming process.

The transport department has also said that the operations of buses have been unstable due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the city is in the process of replacing old buses and upgrading the public transport system. Thus, it has proposed to the municipal administration that the auctions for bus advertising be temporarily stopped pending a review on pricing the packages in accordance with demand.

HCMC currently has over 2,300 buses operating on 137 routes. If it is able to put ads on all its buses, it can earn over VND100 billion ($4.3 million) per year, it has been estimated previously.

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