APNS Summit 2018: Newspapers Payment Issues to be Resolved, Marriyum Aurangzeb


“Registration and certification of daily newspapers and periodicals need to be expedited and certification time will be increased to 5 years,” this was stated by Marriyum Aurangzeb, Federal Minister for Information, while addressing the ‘APNS Summit 2018 – Future of Advertising’ here in Islamabad.

“ABC audit of circulation needs to be reformed so that our newspapers circulation, as per global norms is available on record transparently,” she added.
“Central media list reforms are vital and ministry is working on streamlining the processes and updating the list to accommodate regional newspapers which are integral part of campaigns and exclude dummy newspapers.”

She said that advertising is considered a lucrative business and everyone thinks there is a lot of money this interests the investigator also.  “All information about government advertisements should be available digitally to increase transparency, avoid delay in payments and undue harassments,” she added.

She asked APNS to forward recommendations made at APNS Summit to Press Information Office so that Ministry of Information can adopt the same.

Earlier, while welcoming the guests Secretary General APNS Sarmad Ali stressed the need for innovation in the print media. He called upon the newspapers to embrace technology and measurablility to remain relevant in the everchanging media eco system. He also discussed the issues confronted by advertising agencies and newspapers while dealing with government advertising.

Former federal Secretary Information, Ashfaq Gondal said that the stakeholders involved in Govt advertising must sit together to resolve the payment issues. “Advertising is a sector which needs understanding, generally the regional press has a complain that they are not accommodated by private sector and the Govt advertisement which has a 25% quota for regional press is not adhered to properly.”

“It is a fact that the Govt ads are meant to create awareness of its achievements and plans especially in the far flung areas which are generally served  by regional newspapers. The critical issue regarding both regional and mainstream media is the payment of the Govt advertising where sometimes the ads are issued without the budget,” he added.

Principal Information Officer (PIO) Mohammad Saleem Baig said that Press Information Department stresses the importance of print media but generally the share is declining and the regional and national press are competing with each other.

“Delayed payment is an issue which PID is striving to resolve.  The APNS had agreed on a three tier settlements and PID is trying to clear dues within 90 days,” he added.

A panel of Advertising practitioners comprising Chairman Pakistan Advertising Association Jawwad Humayun, Zubair Rehan, and Imran irshad observed that the government style of working doesn’t allow creativity to be reflected in Govt advertising as the Govt doesn’t pay for creatives while the campaign is given late with a target of appearing the next morning.

They said that the Govt advertising is handled by those who do not understand the advertising business and its technicalities which is creating difficulties for the advertising agencies. “The creativitybof the agencies is overshadowed by the pending payments which puts the agencies on verge of suspension and the APNS and newspapers put the pressure on advertising agencies which in return cannot bypass the Govt’s cumbersome and inefficient system, they added.

The department run campaigns on special initiatives beyond their budgets which are even more cumbersome, the payments of these campaigns are not even planned before they are completed and billed.

“The delay in payments from government results in survival issues for 22 agencies as their 7.6 billion rupees are not yet paid by both federal and provincial governments,” they revealed.

They suggested the Govt to release advertisements with an assurance that Govt has sufficient funds for payment of this campaign.

Director Advertisement, Govt of Punjab, Nabeela Ghazanfar said that all the stakeholders including print electronic media as well government should make an interactive forum which can resolve issues pertaining to payment and other issues.

“Punjab Govt has cleared pending payments of Rs. 1.83 billion during last 6 months for APNS members only while in next 2 to 3 weeks rest of 40 crore will be released,” she added.

Secretary Information Sindh, Imran Ata Soomro said that over the period of time the share of print media in different Govt advertisement is decreasing while electronic media share in ad campaign is increasing to 80%.

“Print media rates are fixed while rates for electronic media are not fixed and disparity of rates between province and federal created issues regarding the NAB investigation,” he added.

Secretary Information KPK Qaiser Alam said that the summit has given us a chance to carve out resolution to problem faced by the advertisement and media industry in terms of payments, regulation and just distribution of funds,

“Every element from Govt to private sector should play its role to properly plan and execute plans in order to make the campaign useful for the main stakeholders that is public,” he said adding that standard SOPs must be adopted to produce properly planned campaign for public awareness with availability of budget and timely payments.

Earlier Raihan merchant emphasised the need for newspapers to develop a periodic audience measurement matrix. He called upon the print media to use data to market themselves.

In their presentations Shazad nawaz and Faraz Maqsood hamidi discussed  the need for developing creative advertising in the newspapers. Shazad nawaz urged the advertising professionals to break from the mundane.


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