Marhaba Law
Posted on August 02, 2016 | By Tarek Chemaly

“How about writing an article about the law covering outdoor advertising?” asked me the managing editor.

I gave her my dismissive look.

“No really” she went on.

I gave her the you-are-too-smart-to-be-asking-me-this look.

“But there was a law last year!” she persisted.

The look that registered on my face was half-way between aghast and playful.

I mean, there’s a law.

Duly voted. In effect. With people applying it to the letter, enforcing it word for word, making sure it is respected, coerced, and done right on the ground.

Just kidding.

It’s a jungle out there. No, I mean, it is a jungle out there!

Recently, what’s with the municipal and mayoral elections, every flat surface has been taken for advertising (note to the candidates, my stomach is flat, you could have rented it!), from the banners stretching throughout balconies and above streets, to crumbling walls (OK, those were not flat), across posts and speed signaling (maximum speed: candidate X for whatever municipality), going by way of the candidates’ friends (asdika’ so and so) plastering their friend’s photo everywhere where it could stick (friends don’t let friends deface graffiti!).

The bad news is that no one rented my flat stomach (read above, repetition for emphasis you know); the good news is that statistics indicate that outdoor advertising is down by 60%.

The economy is a disaster, no one is investing, there’s no Valentine concerts, there’s nothing specific going on, everyone is keeping their white penny for a black day (mind you this is the bad day so where’s the white penny?), and so for all these factors combined, there’s very little to show in terms of “legal” advertising on the streets.

And the offshoot ads. Well, they’re there, big, large, bold, in your face, colourful, exhibiting so and so brand or so and so singer or so and so candidate. I am sure there are regulations, which talk of width and height and Pantone combinations and architectural adjustments and backgrounds, and strength of fabric, and medium of print, and – you get the drift.

And the law?

Marhaba law!