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May 17, 2011

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Ad boxes still need permission

HUGE advertising boxes being built at downtown Nanjing Road W. don't yet have permission to advertise luxury brands, a Shanghai Daily investigation has discovered.

The boxes are under construction at landmark shopping mall Plaza 66, next to a huge Louis Vuitton "suitcase" advertising box.

Residents have complained that the construction project takes too much space on the sidewalk and have raised doubts about its legality.

But an investigation carried out by the city urban management law enforcement team yesterday concluded the project was legal.

It had been approved by both Jing'an District's urban planning bureau and construction supervision commission, with permission papers signed on March 15 and April 20.

However, a Shanghai Daily investigation has found that although the construction of the boxes is legal, they cannot be used to advertise luxury brands before the developer gets permission from district's greenery and public sanitation bureau.

A bureau official, who asked not to be named, told Shanghai Daily that companies wanting to set up advertising boards or boxes have to obtain permission separately from the urban planning bureau for construction works and from the greenery bureau for the advertisement's content.

It would be illegal for the developer to set up advertising boxes if they omit either of the procedures, the official said.

He said to date the bureau hadn't received an application for advertising content on the advertising boxes being built on Nanjing Road W.

Zhang Donglin, deputy manager of Shanghai Hang Bond property Developing Co, developer of the shopping mall, admitted to Shanghai Daily that the company hadn't yet obtained permission for advertising but intended to do so once work was complete.

"We'll design the advertising box after the construction is completed and send the contents details to the bureau for permission," said Zhang.

He denied claims that the plaza was using the huge advertising boxes to cover illegal expansion to the mall.

The plaza is carrying out renovations and the boxes conceal decorating work taking place behind, said Zhang.

He added that the ad boxes cost 910,000 yuan (US$ 139,800) - not 12 million yuan as previously reported - and would be removed once renovations were complete.


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