Government decides to clear newspaper advertisement dues
ISLAMABAD- The government has decided to release Rs 170.5 million worth of outstanding dues of the newspapers in lieu of advertisements, said Javed Jabbar, Adviser to the Chief Executive on Information and Media Development.
Addressing a reception in honour of S H Hashmi of Orient Advertising for being nominated as the personality of the millennium by APNS, Jabbar said the decision to release the stuck-up advertisement dues of the newspapers since 1993 has been taken under the directives of the chief executive.
The, adviser appreciated the chief executive for talking interest in the matter and asking the Ministry of Finance to clear the outstanding dues to newspapers and publications. He also appreciated Secretary Information Khawaja Ijaz Sarwar for actively pursuing the case.
The adviser said blocking the payments of advertisements by the past five governments in a way was tantamount to pressure tactics for reigning in the media. Appreciating the role of advertising agencies in promoting the print media despite financial restraints, Jabbar said it is the private advertising agencies under the banner of Pakistan Advertising Agencies Association, which fulfil their obligations to the newspaper on the list of APNS. He said despite the important role played by the advertising agencies, the banks unfortunately do not recognise the only and most vital asset of the advertising agencies, its human resources, as capital for advancing loans to them. Emphasising the need for maintaining a balance between cornmercial and social and cultural ethics, he lamented the fact that even sacred places like mausoleums are not free from advertising. Citing the example of Hazrat Bahauddin Zikrya’s Mazar in Multan, he said an advertisement on its top underscores the need to observe the ethics of advertising. He said even the police check posts have been made to appear as billboards, something which does not happen anywhere in the civilised world.
Media has to ensure that public service dimensions of its role remain as important as its commercial role, he added while calling for restraint to the long ad intervals during various programmes on the electronic media, especially during cricket matches. Giving a comparative analysis of the amounts spent on advertising in different countries, Jabbar said advertising expenditure is virtually less than one dollar per person in. There is a tremendous growth for advertising media in Pakistan, he added. “Recent international history shows us that more the media, the more the advertisement growth.”
He said the government decision to release outstanding ads bills to newspapers should enable them to implement the Wage Board Award to improve the financial lot of working journalists.
Jabbar lauded the services of S H Hasmi, Managing Director, Orient McCann-Erickson, for the cause of advertising sector, saying he has been a stabilising effect in a volatile field. He said, Hashmi, apart from being a successful advertiser, has good human qualities with a generous heart. Earlier, while paying tributes to the owner of Orient Advertising Agency, SH Hashmi for being declared as the personality of the millennium by APNS, speakers recollected their fond memories of association with the advertising guru of Pakistan.
Secretary Information Khwaja Ijaz Sarwar lauded Hashmi’s key role in encouraging the growth of newspaper industry. R U Thanvi, president Pakistan Advertising Agencies Association, Samad Ali, president Marketing Association of Pakistan, Arif Nizami, president CPNE and Editor-in-Chief of Pakistan Observer, paid tributes to SH Hashmi in glowing words for his contributions to advertising and the print media over a period of years.
Earlier, S H Hashmi said he would persist with his commitment to promote newspapers in the country. “When it’s darkness all around, it is only the newspapers that comfort us. Pakistan will progress if the Press moves ahead.” He congratulated the adviser for ensuring freedom of the Press, expressing the confidence that as a representative of the civil society and a media expert, “Javed Jabbar will make a great contribution towards advancement on the communication front”.
Source: The News