The battle over outdoor advertising in the Czech Republic continues to rage on. In recent years, Prague has implemented increasingly strict regulations on outdoor advertising, culminating in a ban on advertising banners in many parts of the city.
The ban has been resisted by outdoor advertising companies, who argue it violates the country’s competition laws. The issue has escalated to include legal action and antitrust investigations.
The controversy began in 2021 when Prague passed a law expanding the restrictions on outdoor advertising. The new law added two additional zones to the already heavily restricted historic city center and included a large portion of the city. The ban on advertising banners in these areas was immediately challenged by outdoor advertising companies, who claimed it was discriminatory and violated the country’s competition laws.
The dispute has since escalated, with the Czech Antimonopoly Office (ÚOHS) investigating the ban and outdoor advertising companies threatening legal action. The ÚOHS has criticized the city of Prague for not respecting its independent review of the ban and for failing to comply with the obligations of a responsible administrator.
The controversy has also highlighted the need for better communication between the city of Prague and outdoor advertising companies. Critics argue that the city has not done enough to engage with the industry and has not considered its concerns.
Despite the ongoing controversy, some experts argue that the ban on advertising banners is necessary to protect the character of the city and its historic landmarks. They argue that outdoor advertising has become excessive and intrusive and that the ban is necessary to preserve the city’s cultural heritage.
The battle over outdoor advertising in the Czech Republic will likely continue. While outdoor advertising companies have criticized the ban as discriminatory and illegal, supporters argue that protecting the city’s character and cultural heritage is necessary. As the controversy continues, it is clear that the issue of outdoor advertising in the Czech Republic is far from settled.