Increased workload means election posters stay up well after polls close
Despite polls closing on Sunday evening in Estonia, many posters advertising political parties and their candidates remained in place. The reason being, that companies responsible for managing billboards were unable to replace so many all at once.
"Both putting up and taking down the billboards is time-consuming, and given how many were up at the same time, it is simply not possible to take them down very quickly all at once," Eldur Vaas, CEO of Megameedia Group, explained to ERR on Tuesday.
According to Vass, the process of replacing the posters on Megameedia-owned advertising spaces began on Monday and should be complete by Tuesday evening.
Vaas also noted that while the removal of posters from billboards is usually not that noticeable, with people tend to be more aware of those related to elections.
This view was echoed by Kristiina Sepp, CEO of JCDecaux. Sepp said that her company usually changes the larger billboards on Monday night, ready for new posters to be on display by Tuesday. However, because the number of ads needing to be changed is so much larger following the election, the process takes a bit more time.
Sepp also said, that the removal of election posters from billboards did not begin on Sunday, as this would have required staff to work over the weekend.
Both Sepp and Vaas confirmed that the reason why election posters have stayed up longer, is nothing to do with a lack of new advertisements.
The head of a media agency interviewed by ERR also said ,that replacing the billboards was a pure manpower issue, adding, that because so many, which need replacing at the same time, the process will take longer than usual.
This year's Riigikogu elections were the first in which the law allowed Estonian political parties and candidates to run outdoor advertising even on polling day. In December 2019, the Riigikogu Electoral Act, which previously allowed outdoor political advertisements to be displayed in public up to 40 days before election day, was amended. These rules were already in place for the most recent local elections, in 2021.
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Editor: Michael Cole