A decision of Cairo's governor and the minister of transport to remove all outdoor billboards from Cairo as well as from the Cairo-Alexandria road has triggered numerous objections, especially by advertising companies. On Friday, the body responsible for outdoor advertising objected the decision by switching off all the lights of Cairo's billboards.
The Cairo governorate declared its decision to remove all advertising billboards on the belief that they distort the image of Cairo and its architecture. The decision to remove the billboards covers historic downtown areas including Ramsis Street, Tahrir Square, Abdel Moneim Riad Square, Isaaf Square and Abbasyia Square.
Simultaneously, the minister of transport also decided to remove all billboards from the Cairo-Alexandria road, claiming they were a major cause of road accidents.
Advertising agencies were notified of the decision mid-December but they appealed the decision in court. The court decision on the issue was scheduled for 18 January but has been postponed to 8 February.
Meanwhile, Tarek Zidan, member of the Egyptian Advertising Union, said that the decision will destroy the advertising business in Egypt and added that the minister's claim that ads cause 70 per cent of road accidents has not been backed up by any of study.
Advertising agencies say that the decision has brought the advertising trade to a halt. Zidan said that it would destroy LE3 million worth of investment and will lead to the loss of 350,000 jobs.