Rules and Law

Vientiane Authorities To Clamp Down On Advertising Hoardings

Source: Vientiane Times

Vientiane authorities are taking a close look at advertisements written in foreign languages in the capital in a bid to enforce the regulations on such signs.

Director of the Vientiane Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Khampadith Khemmanith, told Vientiane Times on Tuesday there were many advertisements written in foreign languages in the capital, especially in Sikhottabong, Xaysettha and Chanthabouly districts.

The department is planning to inspect all hoardings written in foreign languages to determine whether shops or services are flouting the regulations.

Despite the regulations governing advertisements, many signboards are still using foreign languages. The signs also feature Lao language underneath, but this is hard to see as the letters are very small.

All signboards are legally required to feature Lao language predominantly, on top and in the most prominent position, with any foreign language displayed underneath in smaller letters.

Vientiane is one of many areas in the country where foreign languages are prominently featured. Unfortunately, signs that are written in Lao use words that are often misspelt.

Mr Khampadith said inspections began at the end of last year and many shops and services were found to be displaying signs written in foreign languages.

Department officials and business owners are discussing the matter and the regulations are being explained.

The first time that a shop is found to be violating these rules, it will receive a warning. If nothing changes the department will remove the sign and revoke the shop’s business licence.

Over the past year many sign-making businesses in Vientiane have made signs according to customers’ orders but are not aware of the regulations concerning sign content.

The Vientiane Information, Culture and Tourism Department will partner with district authorities to strictly regulate advertisements written in foreign languages. People are required to register business signboards at the department or with district authorities.

The department will check for compliance with the regulations before signs are erected at shops, restaurants, hotels, clinics and other places.

Smaller businesses such as noodle restaurants come under the jurisdiction of village authorities.

District authorities are responsible for medium-sized businesses, while large-scale shops and restaurants are the responsibility of the Vientiane authority.