Land Mafia & Alternate Advertising

Advertising is one of the most integral parts of a business entity. Advertising is a form of communication, which is used to persuade a specific group of people to take some new action. Today, advertising is a major and vital element for the economic growth of the marketers and different companies in competition.

With the evolution of technology, different mediums have emerged through which businesses can be advertised. Of such platforms available to people for selling their products are local cable channels social media sites and apps. Since the cable operators make money by running advertisements, they care little for what they advertise or the consequences of such ads. These commercials and the regulatory provisions that govern television advertising in Pakistan are ignored, unfamiliar, and misunderstood. This serious lacuna impoverishes the ability of the viewers, as well as watchdogs, to understand the rights that are designed to protect and entrench public interests and rights

As the government has imposed a ban on running ads of unapproved housing schemes in the national media, the land mafia is taking advantage of social media and local cable networks to carry on with the unethical advertisement. The cable channels run by local operators are replete with property advertisements. The ads lure the citizens of the country to buy immovable properties in the form of plots or erected houses. These commercials use all kinds of visuals that can tempt anyone to invest in such schemes without any further probe.

A report published yesterday in The Nation highlights one such scheme where no approval from any civic body or district administration was sought. Since the bylaws are not perfect and a room for improvement is there the land mafia take full advantage of such ill-defined bylaws of the relevant authorities and departments. Therefore, many such housing schemes do not fulfill any requirements that they are obliged to.

It is the talk of the town that the land mafia bribes the relevant authorities to turn a blind eye to their activities. Also, with use of alternative platforms that are available in the form of Facebook, cable channels, mobile texts, Whatsapp for advertisement purposes, they don’t need to fear about accountability.

While the relevant authorities frequently issue warnings for the general public not to invest money in schemes without thorough investigations, the lack of sufficient check and balance on other mediums of communication available to land mafia, those involved in such business deceive people easily. The need is to devise a mechanism where illegal housing schemes cannot advertise through alternative media.

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