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Prague City Hall to regulate advertising, continues fight on “visual smog”

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The city of Prague will be implementing new regulations on public advertising in its ongoing efforts to crack down on the buzz-killing post-capitalism aesthetics that threaten the city’s historical vibes.

Expected to arrive in October, these regulations will extend from Nové Dvory in the south to Troja in the north, and Malešice in the east to Motol in the west. Advertising restrictions already exist in the historic centres like Staré Město, Josefov, Malou Stranu, Nové Město, Vyšehrad, and Hradčany. 

While probably most rejoice, some people in the advertising industry aren’t too thrilled.

Roman Novák, CEO of Czech advertising firm Superposter, told Pražská Drbna in an interview that the new regulations would probably destroy his company, and also called them “discriminatory,” noting that giant billboards on the roads which often advertise political campaigns still get to exist through the regulations. 

“The city’s decision here is totally illogical and I would even say they are discriminatory. The city will defacto liquidate our segment of the industry and then leave other forms of advertising making tonnes of money, like billboards and big boards.”

Novák said that the regulations will also hurt small entities like schools and apartment owners.

“We have been operating in most of our areas for many years, and the advertisements help owners pay for repairs and maintenance on their house. For schools, these incomes are a significant financial benefit that help them purchase equipment or other supplies that they would not normally have.” 

The city of Prague has been on a years-long campaign to cleanse the city of “visual smog.” In 2019, bubble makers, giant Disney mascots, and other types of entertainers were banned from the city centres. 

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