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An ad on the side of a bus is seen in this photo taken in Ho Chi Minh City.

An ad on the side of a bus is seen in this photo taken in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Hundreds of buses in Ho Chi Minh City are poised to feature s by a Japanese ad firm who has just inked a deal with the local transit authority.

The Public Transport Management and Operation Center under the municipal Department of Transport and Koa-Sha Vietnam, a Japan-based out-of-home (OOH) ad agency, agreed on Monday to launch a pilot project to place ads on 171 shuttles running in the city.

Koa-Sha Vietnam, a subsidiary of Koa-Sha Inc., a provider of OOH advertising media in Japan since 1938, was established in 2012 as an OOH advertising agency focusing on public transport, the firm said on its website.

Dau An Phuc, director of the Public Transport Management and Operation Center, revealed that the ad provider has become the exclusive agency to implement the pilot project on 10 bus routes in the city, as it won the bid, opened by the auction center of the local justice department, on March 8.

The firm will produce wrap advertising on the buses in the pilot project, initiated last August, for one year.

The experimental phase of the project is scheduled to last for three to six months from April, Phuc said, adding that if the project proves successful, the department will submit a recommendation that the municipal People’s Committee allow s on 2,344 buses with 40 seats and above.

The profit gained will be utilized as a source of revenue to reduce dependence on state subsidies, he stated.

Phuc added that ads covering the insides of the buses will also soon be piloted.

The wrapped bus will be put into operation in early April, Pham Ngoc Phuong, deputy director of the ad agency said, adding that ads encouraging bus travel will be launched alongside the commercial ones.

The bus wrap advertising concept was first brought to Vietnam by Koa-Sha Vietnam in 2012, the ad provider says on its website.

After analyzing and proposing the project to related departments, Koa-Sha Vietnam got the green light in early 2013 and its first wrapped buses started running in Hanoi in 2013, according to the site.

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