Vietnam Business Channel

Ho Chi Minh City wants companies to buy ads on its buses


Ho Chi Minh City authorities have announced that they will hold an auction for advertising space on the cities buses, and that the period for companies to submit their bids will be from June 21 ~ July 18.

Previously, the city has held four different auctions, which have been unsuccessful and the city wants this new auction to be successful, and is therefore releasing 71 advertising packages, which it believes will be attractive to brands and corporate entities.

The HCMC Property Auction Service Centre, will be in charge of the auction and has stated that the lowest priced packages will be for ads on 4 buses and cost $8,800 for 6-months. Lease periods range from 6-months to 3-years.

Tran Chi Trung, Director of the HCMC Property Auction Service Centre, said that his office has held discussions with several advertising agencies in preparation for the auction and that he believes the great variety of packages that are being offered in the new auction will be quickly bought by both domestic and international agencies.

Cao Thanh Binh, Deputy Manager of the Economics & Budget Division of the HCMC People’s Council's, said the revenues from the advertising auction will be used by the city to improve the city’s bus services. The city projects that if the auction is successful that it could generate over $8 million USD each year and that the city could use these funds to buy new electric buses, improve bus terminal infrastructure and lower the city’s subsidies for bus services.

The city’s budget currently allocates $44 million USD per year for bus subsidies so a 20% decrease in this amount from advertising revenues is considered a “substantial public benefit that the city wants to maximize.

However, advertising and marketing executives contacted for this article are less optimistic about the upcoming auction and said that bus advertising is seen as a very “hit and miss media” with static ads on buses being hard to see in bad weather or at night and producing a very low “recall” rate among consumers. They note that the majority of brands and companies in Vietnam have digital strategies and that the current bus ad packages do not fulfill the need for dynamic digital advertising.