Out of the blue, all outdoor sites in Negeri Sembilan have been aligned with state-controlled Yayasan Negeri Sembilan effective immediately, raising a furore among outdoor operators who have been in the business for decades. All outdoor advertising companies have been affected. Yayasan Negeri Sembilan has allegedly privatised the entire management of outdoor inventory in the state to a single newly-minted player Semarak Media Sdn Bhd, based in Shah Alam which was formed a year ago. Sources say industry media veteran Richard Wan is managing the company.
This follows, despite meetings with the State Secretariat between local council officers and operators, including official representation by the Outdoor Advertising Association Of Malaysia.
Apparently, the state had been complaining that Outdoor signages have been placed haphazardly and wanted them streamlined. The operators agreed and urged for state-approved guidelines that they could work with. Then suddenly, like a calm before the storm, came the new announcement and operators have been told to dismantle their structures immediately.
It is also reported that the new player will construct new signages for RM18,000 per site (10 feet X 40 feet)
as a one-stop centre for advertisers. In the past, the Seremban Town Council only charged RM450 per site.
STOP PRESS: Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan said the advertisers no longer need to go through the local authority but instead they would only need to deal with one agency: Yayasan Negeri Sembilan (YNS) as the sole agency to manage all signboards in the state and simplify any related issues regarding the application process of advertisement boards. He added he said the issue of monopoly does not arise as the company only manages billboards which are on the government’s and local authorities’ land. He clarified that the annual fee of the billboards was also reduced from RM24,000 to RM18,000.
Ed's Question: What is the role of Semarak Media Sdn Bhd then?