Los Angeles Business Journal

Digital Billboard Companies Launch Campaign

By Deborah Crowe Monday, January 14, 2013

Outdoor advertising companies facing removal of their digital signs in Los Angeles on Monday announced they have organized supportive business groups, non-profits and community groups to lobby for polities that would preserve use of the technology.

Digital billboards allow for higher-quality graphics, a quicker change of advertising, and a larger number of rotating advertisers to use the same sign location. But residents and other critics say the bright lights are disruptive to their lives and can be distracting to drivers. A state appellate court last month ruled in a lawsuit brought by a smaller billboard company that more than 100 digital signs installed by Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor were illegal and must come down.

Sign Up L.A., the new 20-member coalition, said “common sense” policies designed to encourage the “reasonable use and location” of digital billboards in Los Angeles are in use in 43 states and more than 450 localities across the country, including Sacramento and Oakland.

Members include Clear Channel Outdoor, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, Los Angeles Downtown Arts District, MacDonald Media, Billboard Connection, and Foundation for a Better Life. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America also is a supporter.

“The outdoor advertising industry is a critical partner to the community of Los Angeles,” Rick Robinson, board president of Art Share L.A., said in a statement. “Without digital signs, public safety messages, like Amber Alerts and emergency situation warnings are lost, and the many non-profits, like Art Share L.A., that rely on billboards to communicate their causes will be left without donated advertising space.”