Georgian Inscriptions on Singboards
14 March, 2013
Georgian Inscriptions on Singboards
All companies - local and foreign - are obligated to put their names and advertisements written on boards and billboards in Georgian language as well. Reluctant businesses will face penalties fluctuating from GEL 200 to GEL 5 thousand. Sector pundits find the initiative discomforting to foreign businesses operating in Georgia. Branch Economy and Economic Policy Committee of Parliament initiated this amendment to the law on advertisement and the code on administrative violations. As Zurab Tkemaladze, Head of Branch Economy and
Economic Policy Committee of Parliament, informed Georgian Journal, the legislation lacked the obligation of making Georgian inscriptions on boards attached to offices and buildings while the rule was compulsory for advertisement billboards.
“ The new initiative never means ruling inscriptions on foreign languages out, it just complements the law on advertisement and protects the right of Georgian language that is acknowledged by constitution to be the state language and it was violation of constitution when one goes in the streets of Georgia and cannot figure out what is written on certain boards and what kind of office it is under the board that exhibits inscription on foreign language alone,” Tkemaladze said in the interview to GJ.
According to the underway amendment to the advertisement law, in case of violation the rules of board placement and inscriptions both private and legal entities will get a warning but the repeated misdeed will be imposed to penalty of GEL 200 and GEL 3000 for private persons and companies respectively. However, if the violation will be repeated more than twice per year the mischief will have to pay GEL 5 thousand.
Georgian sector pundits find the initiation aimed on protection of Georgian language not quite liberal and discomforting foreign business that may face difficulties while fitting their brand names and slogans to Georgian alphabet and language that differs from Latin alphabet used by foreign companies as a rule. Irakli Lekvinadze, an economic analyst, assures that the world becomes more liberal toward brand names written in foreign languages to comfort businesses and this here initiative is no guarantee to protection of Georgian language but a scare to foreign companies.
“Names of foreign brands written in Latin alphabet do not confuse people in Georgia as the brand perception is related with its globally spread logos and letters depicting the name of the company, while their translated copies may really confuse local consumers who are used to well-known brand names,” Eldar Pirmisashvili, PR specialist and co-founder of Peritus.ge, a consulting and marketing company. “On the other hand it may somewhat scare little companies. Big transnational companies like Coca-cola always take care on rebranding their name and logo so as to mentality fit the market they enter, so they will have no problems but small companies will face extra expenses as have to hire consultants that may increase expenses up by around 5% that will reflect on prices. But expenses is not the key thing, the major problem is that some names just cannot be translated or mean something ridiculous if written in Georgian alphabet.”
Tkemaladze assures, it was a public demands to make Georgian inscriptions on all boards. He sees no problem as brand names are not supposed to be translated; though Georgian language must be protected.
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