Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) wrote a letter to Union Minister Prakash Javadekar requesting support from the government amid a serious slide in income due to the pandemic. The association sought immediate financial relief including Income Tax refund and clearance of dues from the Government of India and Public Sector Units (PSUs).
Ashish Bhasin, the president of AAAI, said that immediate relief is essential to pay staff salaries and meet other pressing needs. He also highlighted the “imperative need” of the concessions suggested in the letter, for the businesses to stay afloat and save jobs.
“Without such a support we are afraid there would be significant job losses, and many trained professionals would become unavailable to revive our economy,” wrote the association president.
Bhasin sent four broad recommendations to the Information and Broadcasting Minister to ensure business continuity for the advertising industry. The media veteran urged the central government to recognise advertising as an investment and asked Javadekar to treat it as an asset so that it should be allowed to be amortised over the next three years.
“Many companies recognize the enduring benefits of advertising and this will encourage them to invest without fear of considerable decline in profits,” Bhasin suggested.
AAAI president said that advertising provides the impetus to the economic engine of every nation as it causes an economic chain reaction. He added that the chain reaction not only generates direct sales and jobs due to the promotion of products and services but also creates indirect sales and jobs among the first level suppliers to the industries that incur the advertising expenditures. Underlining the decline in revenue in the last quarter of 2019-20, Bhasin said that prospects for the year 2020-21 are quite uncertain since no one knows how long the pandemic will last and when our economic activity will be back in full force.