One of the unique marketing strategies for big brand companies or event organisers is the placement of banners on street light poles.  These banners are usually placed on light poles in high traffic areas like the Freeway in Port Moresby. But a recent look at one of the banners has made us enquire what the advertisement regulations are for pole banners.

The reason for this enquiry is that the banner we have in question and any other similar banners like it could pose a safety risk for motorists and pedestrians alike.


Generally, the use of banners on poles is a creative marketing strategy targeted mainly at motorists.  It is pretty much an “in your face” style of marketing.

But when we came across the banner above which promotes the 5th Melanesian Festival of Arts & Culture event in June-July, we thought this is one such example where this creative should not have been placed on the poles.

If you take a closer look at the banner above, you will note the following:

  • the key words such as the event title and date do not appear clearly as they are in small font size
  • there is quite a lot of colour which appears quite distracting
  • there is no clear image to represent the purpose of the banner or event
  • there are too many wordings on the banner

Considering that motorists are usually on the go, the chances of reading the whole print on the banner is almost impossible. In fact, it would be quite difficult for the unknown motorist to know what the purpose of the banner is or when the event will be held.  This type of banners can pose a risk of accidents.

The fact that the wordings aren’t clear, the risk lies in the motorist not being able to read the print to take a more closer look at the banner while at the same time losing focus on the road ahead.

And because most of the banners are placed on Freeways where vehicles are travelling a lot faster, the chances of accidents happening is real.

In comparison to a Digicel banner like the one below, you will note that there is a big difference in the appearance.  The Digicel banner has an attractive image but has less wording and is readable from afar. It is not too distracting but still attractive.


One major difference and an important one between these two banners from a marketing perspective is that both seem to have different marketing goals. The Digicel banner appears to be a straight forward brand promotion. The Melanesian banner appears to be promoting a specific event.

It would certainly help if professional marketing firms are engaged not only to prepare the banners but also to advise on the most appropriate mediums and the type and style of art to be used for each medium. This is important given that the audience may differ and that the audience may be conducting different activities at the time they are likely to consume the advertisements.

Given the above and the general safety of motorists and pedestrians in the city, we wonder whether the city authority could review all banners prior to having them placed on the street light poles.  Maybe there is a review board but certainly the Melanesian Arts banner in our view should not have passed them.

What do you think?





  1. For argument’s sake, drivers are primarily out on the road to “drive”, not read adverts on poles. So whether there are too many or too little words on a pole banner shouldn’t really matter. You’re in control of a moving vehicle so that and what’s moving in terms of traffic on the road should be a drivers only concern. One can also see, in terms of advertising, the advantage of pole banners in areas where there are heavy traffic jams, it works well when people are stuck in traffic.
    On a separate but similar note, something of greater concern should be the upcoming trend in electronic billboards along roads (especially that one along the freeway where MVIL is located-talk about irony). Those are bigger distractions to drivers I reckon.

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