Fri, Dec 07, 2018 - Page 2 News List

TIAC defends advert contracting changes

‘DIVERSIFICATION’:Taoyuan International Airport Corp’s Hong Yu-fen said that the changes were made to allow presentations in a more systematic and diversified way

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Passengers line up near advertising billboards at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Dayuan District yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday dismissed allegations that it grants rights to place advertisements at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to a specific individual, saying that public tenders for contracts are designed to increase advertising revenue.

TIAC made an official response after Tsung Chu Advertising ran a half-page advertisement on the front page of yesterday’s edition of the Chinese-language Apple Daily, accusing the company of changing how bidding was conducted, from choosing contractors offering the highest price to choosing ones that are most qualified.

The former would help raise revenue more than the latter, Tsung Chu said.

The changes were to find contractors that would help boost advertising revenue, TIAC senior vice president Hong Yu-fen (洪玉芬) said.

Even though the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) does not apply to the state-run company, it nevertheless follows its principles to find the best bids based on the conditions TIAC lays out, which ensures that contractors are chosen in a fair, just and transparent manner, Hong said.

Asked why the company no longer chooses contractors that offer the highest bid, Hong said that method was used in the past because advertisements were only allowed in specific areas of the airport.

However, TIAC has not only added lightbox advertisements, but also increased potential advertising space, she said.

The agency that wins a contract is encouraged to be creative in identifying possible advertisement spaces, including passenger boarding bridges, and using mediums such as wall stickers or flat-screen televisions, the company said.

Advertisers could also have products put on display, such as automakers seeking to promote new cars have done at international airports in other nations, the company said.

A contractor could also help highlight the company’s corporate responsibility by showcasing the work of Taiwanese artists and helping promote public awareness campaigns, it said, adding that it is obligated to follow construction and landscaping rules — as well as aviation safety regulations — when designing and placing the advertisements.

A variable percentage rate, rather than a fixed rate, is to be used to calculate royalties that the contractor is to pay, as flexible use of airport space for advertising would not only increase TIAC’s revenue, but also the contractor’s.

“In the past, advertising contracts for Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and restricted areas were given out separately. As such, advertisements could not be presented in a more systematic and diversified way,” Hong said. “As it is expected to be difficult to manage many contracts of such a diverse nature with the new rules — with lawmakers suggesting the company be more creative with ads — the company has decided to change the way we find contractors.”

Hong denied that the company deliberately delayed making the bidding process public.

Advertising contracts for Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 have different expiration dates, she said.

“We followed the terms of the contract and gave the agency for Terminal 2 a three-month extension, so both contracts will expire on Dec. 31,” she said. “These contracts are to be put up for public tenders at the same time and take effect on Jan. 1.”

Bidding is to close on Tuesday next week, she said.

TIAC said it did not rule out legal action against Tsung Chu for alleged false accusations.

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