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Six-month trial for commercial street banners

MEDIA RELEASE

18 March 2004

Six-month trial for commercial cross-street banners in Newmarket

A six-month trial for the inclusion of commercial advertising on Auckland city cross-street banners has started in Newmarket.

The trial is in response to requests from the Newmarket Business Association to change council policy to allow general commercial advertising on street banners. The council has initiated the trial to get feedback on what the public wants to see.

Previously, the council has restricted banner content to messages promoting charity, community, educational, recreational or local business events, while allowing 25 per cent of the sign to identify sponsors.

While it is expected that some groups will believe that this use of banner space will provide valuable revenue for community associations and add colour to Auckland’s main streets, others may argue that it is distasteful and pollutes public space.

At the end of the trial, all feedback will be presented to the council for review. If the trial elicits mainly positive feedback from interested parties, the council will look into offering the option of commercial advertising to business associations citywide. If the feedback is largely negative, the status quo will remain.

For one week in every four, the banner space will be reserved exclusively for community-focused advertising. Commercial advertising will be restricted to the three current banner sites on Broadway and will be reserved for use by local businesses to promote sales and events. No product advertising will be permitted.

The revenue generated from the initial trial will go to the Newmarket Business Association.

During the trial, members of the Auckland community will have the opportunity to give their views on this use of banner space. A comment box is currently available on the Auckland City website (www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/banners) and printed comment forms will also be available in libraries and services centres throughout the last month of the trial. Until this time, any calls, letters or emails to the council are welcomed.

The trail is scheduled to finish on 20 September 2004.

ENDS

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