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BMTC losing out on outdoor advertising revenues?

212 users have liked.
You see colorful, big, bright, and sometimes visually polluting hoardings, legal as well as illegal, crowding out road side air space almost everywhere in Bengaluru. The cacophony of imagery and colors tells you that there is decent demand for outdoor advertising. And yet, after some attempt earlier with Volvo routes, we find BMTC not making use of the outside surfaces of its buses to meet this demand and make some money.
Why? Wonder what the reason is. It seems to be such a low hanging fruit to most of us, there has to be a reason for BMTC here. RTO won't register vehicles with 'material that may distract other drivers'? There was a reason like that for withdrawing ads from some Volvo routes. There must be a way to work over this hurdle if it really exists. In fact, over last month or so, it seems that some buses are already carrying ads on their backs.
A remember an advertising company pitching its mobile display vans 2-3 years ago, and the rate quoted was Rs 50000 / month. This was for displaying advertising on both sides of a mobile van, much like a BMTC bus could easily do. Rates were marginally higher if you wanted the ad hoardings illuminated.
Let us assume that BMTC would charge much less, say half of the 50K, or even lesser - 20K per month. BMTC holds ~ 6600 vehicles today (refer BMTC website). Even if half of these carry ads on their surfaces, we are talking of decent amounts. Here is how:
- 20K per bus per month
- for 3000 buses, that is 20K x 3K = 600 Lakhs / month
- for full year, we are talking 600 x 12 = Rs 7200 lakhs / year.
Take a look at BMTC's 'other revenues' (item #3 under financial performance here). Item 3.b (Other commercial revenues) should be the item covering some ad revenues. Amount for 2012-2013 was 5697 lakhs. Seems like this number can be doubled. (7200 lakhs added to 5697 lakhs!).
Now, we considered only half of the buses, and assumed pretty low rates. If you assume 6000 buses, and double the rate to 40K, you are looking at 40K x 6000 = 2400 Lakhs / month. For the full year, that would become 28800 Lakhs.
28800 Lakhs, hmm. That is almost 19% of BMTC's total traffic revenue for 2012-2013 - 151600 Lakhs. Significant, right?
SB aka Pranav


silkboard's picture

think easy, simple and big

134 users have liked.

I am imagining a mobile app, where one can

  • pick the routes where ads are desired to be displayed
  • pick an advertisement plan
  • upload a banner image of specified size for the plan
  • pay inside the app itself
  • and done.

BMTC prints the ad, puts the on the route, and runs the ad from the next day or so :)

silkboard's picture

ad rights for Whitefield TTMC - through "GS Media"?

132 users have liked.

See this. A news article (Times OOH acquires ad rights to BMTC) about a company acquiring rights to put ads on a large hoarding outside the Whitefield TTMC through an intermediary:

... Times OOH, ... has inked a deal with GS Media. This will allow it to acquire the ad rights to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation's new bus terminal [near ITPL] for the next 11 years.

What is this GS Media company? Sounds like BMTC "resells" ad space through "GS Media". Here is one line on them in the same article:

GS Media is a Karnataka-based outdoor service company that specialises in outdoor advertising, indoor advertising, mall advertising and others.
My gut feeling tells me that BMTC is underselling its ad space inventory in general.


silkboard's picture

a data point for advertising rates

136 users have liked.

See this post from an ad space vendor

Note the size of ad, and price quoted:

* Double side advertisement

* Each side 16 feet width X 8feet height

* Total Display charges as per month (30 days) is Rs.55, 000/- for (frontlite vinyl)
(this quote inclusive of printing, mounting, petrol etc cost.)

* Rs.59, 000/- for (backlit vinyl)
(this quote inclusive of printing, mounting, petrol etc cost.).

16 ft x 8 ft is a bit much. Sizes would be smaller on the sides of the bus, and on the backside. Elegant looking boards, at same standard spot in each bus, for consistency.

Some pics for illustration:

1) Full bus height banner, catchy, pic sourced from


2) Wide and narrow

Lots of pics available otherwise if you search

silkboard's picture

Ad space on BMTC Volvo buses - old listing

137 users have liked.

Found this entery for ad space on BMTC Volvo buses, link from a popular auction site. The offer is marked as "ended", so I think BMTC has stopped this. Looks like the ad spaces on BMTC Volvo buses were on sale through "swarnasenterprises"

Full ad below:


Volvo Bus branding

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation

Why Branding in and out of the volvo buses?

v Bangalore’s 88 % of people travel through public transport

v All 250 AC buses covered all over the city

v Cream class commuters travelling in the Ac buses

v Average travel time of 30 mins per commuter

Outside branding in Volvo bus is of two types:

Window glass branding & Full bus wrapVolvo Bus branding

srinidhi's picture

social messages

127 users have liked.

BMTC bus carry social messages like the one for bus day itself and more recently about hunger and food wastage..I think these are important and need to continue..

The private add space also needs to be limited so that its easier to identify the bus and people will not get distracted with too many advertisements..

murali772's picture

there's a problem

133 users have liked.

Presently, there's an Act of law, and a high court ruling which prohibits display of ads on vehicles as these could distract other drivers - check here. It's validity has been questioned by many. But, unless the Act is revoked, a government organisation cannot be seen to be flouting it openly.

Conveying social messages in the meanwhile, as suggested by Srinidhi, may be a good idea.

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

Help BMTC by challenging it?

110 users have liked.

Correct, thats the reason for BMTC not carrying ads, and withdrawing their Volvo thing as well. Any idea how we can help BMTC by challenging it? That would in turn help us only as it would help bring down the fares.

murali772's picture

may be organise a meeting with the MD?

136 users have liked.

May be we can organise a meeting with the current MD, Mr Anjum Pervez, bring to his attention the practices from across the world, and thereafter make a joint appeal to the government to modify the Act.

His introducing the Big Trunk & Feeder Services (check this) shows him as somebody who wants to bring about changes.

Muralidhar Rao
xs400's picture

RSA Act , undercharging for contracting Volvos,

163 users have liked.

Sorry if this is off topic

While I do agree that BMTC should generate more revenue, I for one am glad that those grotesque fully body ads have been banned.

I suspect the RTA/RTO did not get their cut, otherwise this would have been another permanent topic on Praja! Here is what we would be hearing:" "Once they get the fitness certificate, they fix the ad back. What can we do about it?'' asked an RTO." -  repeated endlessly.

Not only are the ads distracting but so are the scrolling displays. I have give it to BMTC to come up with the most obnoxius schemes possible in the same way they come up with the most incredible schemes to siphon money from the public in the guise of providing "Service".


It is amazing that the md says that the earnings for volvo are rs 52-53 per km  - with the overcrowded Volvos they must be earing atleast 400 per KM. This is where Praja needs to focus to figure out how the earnings come down to 52-53 per KM. It is unlikely the the MD and his staff is going to do it as their motivation for maximizing and optimizing this is non-existent.

1. Perhaps the charges for ferrying ministers has not been recovered?

2. How about contracting out Volvos at low prices to private firms at peak hours?

3. Running Volvos at lean times?

4. Volvos not picking up passengers because there is no one in the bus, so take a short cut to the terminus?

5. BIAL services: Are they still providing free passes to BIAL employees and others? comment guidelines

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