Hong Kong retailers warned of advertising blitz

Hong Kong retailers have been warned of a two-month long blitz on commercial advertising encroaching onto footpaths and laneways starting next week.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) says it will step up enforcement actions against the unauthorised display of easy-mount frames and other display fittings for business promotion on busy streets from September to October with a view to curbing such illegal activities and improving the district environment.

“The unauthorised display of commercial publicity materials such as bills and posters with the use of easy-mount frames, and other display fittings on streets and pavements with high pedestrian flow, have kept causing street obstruction and environmental hygiene problems,” said a spokesman for FEHD.

The department mounted successful enforcement operations last year and now it wants to replicate the campaign in selected ‘blackspots’ in various districts throughout the territory.

“During the operations, FEHD officers will issue fixed penalty notices on the spot to offenders caught red-handed for illegal display activities, and the promotion materials will be removed,” the spokesman said.

“The beneficiaries of the commercial publicity materials will also be prosecuted should there be sufficient evidence.”

Under Section 104A(1) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, any person displaying or affixing a bill or poster on government land without permission commits an offence, and is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $10,000 and a daily fine of $300 upon conviction. FEHD officers can also remove the commercial publicity materials and the display fittings and recover the removal costs from the persons concerned pursuant to the relevant legislation.

The FEHD has already stepped up public education by issuing warning letters to retailers and street promoters in the vicinity of the targeted blackspots to warn them of the upcoming blitz.

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