Monday, March 1, 2010

Digital Billboards, Diversions Drivers Can’t Escape

Did you know that nationwide there are 450,000 billboards? I'm assuming this number only includes free standing signs on highways and other roadways and that it does not include billboards in cities that are affixed to the sides of buildings and other similar derivations. The article below from the New York Times speaks about this important issue the country is now facing as digital technology becomes more affordable for outdoor advertising companies. The question of whether or not digital signage is a safety hazard is a hot topic, and cities across the country are weighing in as a precedent has yet to be set. As far as we are concerned this is a moot issue. What is more important is the right this type of signage has in our public in general. As for the safety issue and digital billboards' tendency to be more distracting than traditional signage, we think this is a pretty easy call. If they werent more attention grabbing, outdoor advertising companies wouldnt be paying immense amounts of money to erect these huge television screens and advertisers wouldn't be paying the 600% markups associated with this type of technology. Remember the whole point of advertising is to grab and hold your attention in order to get you to do something you might not otherwise do, period! There is no debating this fact.

VIA The New York Times

Safety advocates who worry about the dangers of distracted driving have a new concern beyond cellphones and gadget-laden dashboards: digital roadside billboards. These high-tech billboards marry the glow of Times Square with the immediacy of the Internet. Images change every six to eight seconds, so advertisers can flash timely messages — like the latest headlines, coffee deals at dawn, a cheeseburger at lunchtime or even the song playing on a radio station at that moment. [More Here]

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hacker Arrested in Billboard Porn Stunt

Remember the racy video billboard hack in Moscow? Well it appears they have arrested the man responsible for the fantastic stunt. The Moscow Times is reporting that "The incident prompted the Moscow Advertising Committee to ban video billboards on the streets of Moscow." but I can't find any information to corroborate this statement. If anyone finds information that upholds this statement, please send it our way.

The Moscow Times Reports

Police in the southern city of Novorossiisk have arrested a man accused of hacking into a video billboard in Moscow last month and showing a pornographic movie that spawned a traffic jam as curious drivers slowed to watch the film. [More Here]

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Video of Moscow's Billboard Porn Hack [NSFW]

Im not sure if this is appropriate content for advertising takeovers but it sure as hell does get your attention. On top of this there is no mistaking that someone clearly hacked this billboard.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Judge Says 2006 Lawsuit Settlement Allowing Digital Billboards in L.A. is Illegal, Calls Agreement Between City and Billboard Companies “Poison”

Via Ban Billboard Blight

Superior Court Judge Terry Green ruled today that the lawsuit settlement giving Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor the right to convert 840 conventional billboards to digital violated the law by exempting those conversions from any zoning regulations or requirements for notice and public hearings. [More Here]

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Global 'Step': Titan Takes MySpace OOH

Users... Create interesting content to promote this Titan Media, Myspace synergy as a viable advertising platform so that once they have 52 million viewers' attention they can blast them with ads for sugar water.

Via Media Post

In another twist on digital tie-ups, MySpace has partnered with Titan, a global out-of-home advertiser focused on mass transit, to bring personal messages from MySpace users to high-visibility digital displays in public places.

"Step Up to the Mic" is positioned as a joint promo campaign of the companies' media potential, highlighting their value as ad platforms.

As part of the user-generated promotion, MySpace and Titan are inviting MySpace members to submit a short text message (50 characters or less) and picture online. The content will then appear on hundreds of digital screens in cities across Europe and America, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dublin, London, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Titan's displays are concentrated in and around the mass transit infrastructure in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Canada, including train stations, bus stops, telephone kiosks and street banners. Altogether, the digital assets involved in "Step Up to the Mic" reach 52 million viewers per month, including 15 million in the U.S. Users can also upload their message and picture at the Titan Web site.

At first glance, it may be surprising that MySpace, the world's largest social network, should feel the need to promote itself as an ad medium or raise consumer awareness. However, stats show the Fox-owned network has steadily lost market share to Facebook over the last few years, with the most precipitous declines coming in the last year.

According to recent figures from Experian Hitwise, in September, Facebook attracted 58.6% of all social network visits in the U.S., compared to just 30.3% for MySpace -- down sharply from 66.8% in September 2008.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Clear Channel Goes Digital In NYC Burbs

VIA Media Daily News

Slowly but surely, digital signs are closing in on Manhattan. With a stronghold in Times Square, the signs are now moving to surround the island from the north. The newest deployment brings a digital display network to the downtown area of White Plains, NY.

The array of eight digital signs, each with a display surface measuring about 20 square feet in area, were installed by Clear Channel Outdoor on municipal property belonging to the White Plains Department of Parking, under the terms of an existing contract between the city and MD Sales & Marketing.

In addition to displaying static advertising images on an eight-second loop, the signs feature scrolling digital text that will allow city officials to communicate important messages to the public. For example, signs directing parking and traffic during concerts and festivals or posting Amber Alerts and other emergency advisories.

From the advertising perspective, downtown White Plains offers an audience with attractive demographic attributes.

In addition to the city's 56,000 residents, the downtown sees heavy traffic by commuters coming and going from the White Plains transit hub, as well as en route to various government buildings, bringing the weekday total to over 200,000.

White Plains is surrounded by converging highways, including U.S. 287, U.S. 684, U.S. 95, and U.S. 87, as well as the Bronx River Parkway, the Merritt Parkway and the Sprain Brook Parkway. Many commuters travel to Westchester to catch Metro-North Railroad trains at the White Plains or North White Plains stations, which are located 30 to 45 minutes north of Grand Central Station, with combined through-traffic of about 3 million in 2006.

In June, Lamar Advertising Co. unveiled a new billboard in the Bronx using low-power digital signage technology developed by Magink. The new sign, located at 640 Soundview Ave., allows Lamar to display multiple ads with only a modest amount of electricity.

Magink displays are not as bright or distracting as other types of digital signage, meaning that local residents are less likely to object to their presence.

To create an image with Magink, an electrical charge is sent to a billboard covered with helix-shaped organic molecules. These rearrange themselves in different shapes following the distribution of the electrical charge. After the image is formed, no more energy is required to keep it in place, unlike LED billboards, which require a continuous source of power.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Digital Bus Advertisement Video

This seems like a bad idea to me.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Digital Advertising On NYC Buses at Night

Now tell me it wouldn't be distracting if you were sitting eye level to this in a car. Your pupils would shrink down so small trying to filter out all that extra light, you might as well close your eyes, hit the gas, and hope for the best.

Photo-Jason Eppink

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Tackling Illegal Signage in the Digital Age

La has a moratorium on digital and supergraphic signs, which means any signage that goes up that wasn't there yesterday is illegal. This makes it very easy for residents to help spot these eyesores and report them to the city. The fact that no authority needs to determine the new signs illegality allows the city attorney's office to act immediately. In fact, the city attorney's office has setup a website where residents can report illegal signs directly to them, and skip over any red tape, or other offices which might slow down the process of serving these law breakers.

Despite there being no similar moratorium in New York, a web form which allowed residents to report illegal signage would be very helpful here as well. Often when I call in violations to the DOB through 311, my description of the billboard is recorded incorrectly and or I have an image I would like to include. In an effort to alleviate the burden the Sign Enforcement Unit has, web forms with image attachments would allow the team to determine some billboards legality without leaving the office.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Future To Come And The Future That's Here

The language advertising companies use is often indicative of their motives. When Titan Media declares that their new digital bus ads are "bright and unavoidable..", it gives you a good sense of what their intentions are. And when outdoor advertising is talked about as being "bright and unavoidable", the average citizen should realize that this means they will be absorbing these messages even if they think they are hardened New Yorkers trained at keeping their eyes glued to the pavement as they pass through their public environment. We should not have to physically alter the way we move and visualize our public space in order to avoid contact with the "bright and unavoidable". Instead we should demand our visual environment back from outdoor advertising and perpetrate its removal in any way possible.

from Gothamist John Del Signore

The MTA is currently testing out new digital screens that display ads on the sides of buses running on the M23 route. The screens, which use GPS technology to change according to each neighborhood's demographic, are being installed by New York-based ad company Titan Worldwide; the company's website declares that the 12-foot displays "are bright and unavoidable and will enable advertisers to target mass audiences by time of day, block, zip-code, demography and ethnicity." Yay!

As Titan's marketing director tells the Post, "In the morning, we can show Starbucks, and on the way home from work, a Budweiser ad." You can see where this is going; Bugaboo ads for Park Slope, Rohypnol for the Meatpacking District, and in Williamsburg, flashy ads for Neighborhoodies and machetes. The M23's test run currently sports ads for Oreo, Sleepy's, Coca-Cola and Sprite; a spokesman says that if successful, they'll install them on about 200 buses next year. Then in 2010, up in your cerebral cortex! Click through for a video of the Dunkin Donuts bus ad in action.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

The Train Is Coming. And With It, More Ads

VIA The New York Times

STEPHANIE CLIFFORD Published: October 16, 2008

THE New York City transit system is adding a new site for advertisements: the interior of subway tunnels.
Sam Chase for the History Channel

A History Channel ad covering a shuttle train in Manhattan.

David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Commercial images are projected in the tunnel during a train ride in Los Angeles

Starting next spring with the 42nd Street-Times Square shuttle, passengers will see advertising outside the windows as the train travels between stations. The messages will look rather like jumpy 15-second TV ads.

The tunnel advertising is part of an ambitious Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to convert much of its real estate into advertising space. In addition to the tunnel ads, it will sell space on turnstiles, digital screens inside stations, projections against subway station walls, and panels on the outside of subway cars.

Advertisers are eager for any new way to capture consumers’ attention. The History Channel, which started to advertise on subway panels this month, wanted to get “buzz not only with viewers and consumers of our content, but buzz within the advertising community and buzz with key business partner influentials in this market,” said Chris Moseley, senior vice president for marketing at the channel.

And the authority wants revenue to help it cover its projected $900 million budget shortfall next year.

“In light of the fiscal difficulties that the M.T.A.’s facing, we have set out to basically look under every rock for ways that we can cut costs and raise revenue,” said Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for the authority.

But some groups say the extension of advertising space is troubling.

“The subways are not a wholly noncommercial site already,” said Robert Weissman, managing director of Commercial Alert, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington. “But there’s a big difference between signage and traditional billboards, and the new digital media and turnstile wraps and other innovations.”

Mr. Weissman added, “It just contributes to the overwhelming assault on people and their everyday lives that makes it increasingly challenging to escape commercial messaging.”

While the authority has long sold panels in the trains and billboards at the stations to advertisers, it began converting other parts of stations into advertising space only about a decade ago.

CBS Outdoor, which handles ad space in the stations, began selling entire stations to advertisers about 10 years ago, letting them wrap poles and put graphics on the floors.

More recently, it has offered stairs and the full interior of trains to advertisers for a technique known as a “wrap.”

And this year, it is getting even more creative.

“Advertisers, especially in this environment, are looking to do something different and be noticed,” said Jodi Senese, the executive vice president for marketing for CBS Outdoor. “When something is new, clearly there’s an opportunity to make a big splash,” she said.

This week, the company began testing advertising on a large display, almost the size of a movie screen, mounted above a passageway by the 7 train in Times Square.

Because the New York subway runs 24 hours a day, it is difficult to put ads on the far side of subway tracks. Consequently, CBS is considering projecting images across the track. They will be similar to ads that are projected onto station walls, which CBS began about two years ago. There is a projection ad for Asics in Union Square, in the passageway between the N, Q, R and W lines and the Lexington Avenue line, and one for the Navy at Grand Central, in the corridor to the shuttle.

Both the arms of turnstiles and the entire turnstile structures are available to advertisers.

And starting in 2009, CBS will sell advertisers exterior panels — thinner versions of the horizontal advertisements that buses carry — on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and shuttle trains. These panels are already in place on some 1, 3, 4, 7 and shuttle trains, where the History Channel is the first advertiser to use them. It is promoting its “Cities of the Underworld” series.

The History Channel, owned by A&E Television Networks, also covered the exterior of the Times Square shuttle with advertising, which the transportation authority is considering allowing for other advertisers.

The channel’s media agency, Horizon Media, worked with CBS to persuade the transportation authority to allow the panels and exterior wrap, even creating a miniature model of the shuttle to show authority officials how it would look.

“We’re not just marketing the show in a traditional way, we’re creating an immersive kind of experience,” Ms. Moseley said. The tunnel ads are scheduled to be installed by spring 2009, and will be handled by SideTrack Technologies, a company in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It lines subway tunnels with strips of light-emitting diodes that are window height.

“We have a way of projecting multiple images on the side of a tunnel wall as a train moves from one station to the next station,” said Rob Walker, the president of SideTrack. The company shows about 360 images over a 15-second period and times the display of the images to the speed of a given train.

Mr. Walker compared it to a children’s flip book, where static images in rapid succession give the impression of movement.

“It’s just basic animation, but we can manipulate the images, we can change the ads, so every train that goes by can see a different ad,” he said.

The windows light up as if there were a television screen outside the window. SideTrack installed the system in the Los Angeles and London subways this year, and retailers including Target, Microsoft and Warner Brothers have used it.

An earlier version of the system, which uses printed panels instead of L.E.D. projections, is being used in Boston and San Francisco. Those require that workers go into the tunnels to put up the panels, which makes the ads difficult to install and change.

It will probably cost around $95,000 for a full month of ads in a tunnel, Mr. Walker said, but said that advertisers could book the system for short-term projects.

Mr. Koenigsberg of Horizon said that a prime outdoor billboard usually costs six figures, “so that kind of number doesn’t sound out of whack.”

He said he was interested in the tunnel advertising technology, but would want to ensure that subway riders wanted to see moving ads during their rides.

“The last thing you want to do is have inefficient waste in putting a message in front of someone where they’re not receptive to it,” he said.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

World's largest LED screen coming to Dubai

from Engadget by

By this point, you should fully understand that "Dubai" and "world's largest" go hand-in-hand, so it's quite fitting that said city is receiving the planet's most humongous LED screen. Designed by UAE development company Tameer Holding, the 33-story high display will reportedly be "embedded on an intended commercial tower in the Majan district of Dubailand," where it will stand tall and blast out advertisements to onlookers some 1.5-kilometers away. Dubbed Podium, the building will also house 33 levels of "premium commercial office space, two floors dedicated to retail and four floors for parking." There's no word on when the project will be completed, but we don't suspect Tameer will be dragging its feet in getting this up.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Demand a Read/Write City

I suggest everyone keep a close eye on The Anti Advertising Agency because it is riddled with fantastic content. Some of this content is too important to let go by without passing it along.

Via The Anti-Advertising Agency by Steve Lambert

This is graffiti:

  • it’s spray paint
  • it’s done without permission on someone else’s property
  • it’s illegal
  • politicians hate it

It’s the expression of a citizen (or small group of citizens) in public space speaking to fellow citizens. Anyone, willing to take the legal risk, can do it.

This is advertising:

  • it’s printed vinyl
  • it’s done with permission from the city
  • it’s legal (When it’s not legal there’s often little to no consequence.)
  • legal or not, it makes money - though often not enough
  • politicians love it

It’s the expression of a corporate interest. A small number of people who have thousands of dollars, a specific and narrow interest and some influence can do it. They speak to people as consumers, not citizens.

For the first time, the MTA is turning the outside of their trains over to advertising company, Titan Outdoor. It will start with the Times Square shuttle in a test program. But with the potential for more (my emphasis added):

If this test at Grand Central/Times Square stations is successful, other high-traffic stations could easily be included for similar sales packages.

In addition to the above efforts in the GCT/Times Square Area, in the first quarter of 2009 Times Square Shuttle tunnel will also become the home of the first in-tunnel advertising installation. The shuttle riders will be able to view a full motion video presentation through the window of the shuttle car. The MTA is also planning to pilot test a digital dominated station concept at two of the NYCT stations, Grand Central Shuttle Station and 42nd and 6th Avenue Station mezzanine (Bryant Park).

To further expand the advertising revenue base, MTA in partnership with Titan Outdoor (its MTA bus and commuter rail advertising contractor), will be pilot testing digital advertising on one of its NYCT buses and, if successful, hope to expand the program to approximately 200 buses. In addition, a similar digital advertising pilot test is planned for in car commuter rail displays in the near future.

One thing I’m sure of - this install will be amazing. This will likely be bold, and inventive and incorporate amazing new technologies. It will be novel and smart, maybe funny. People will be impressed, if not wowed. And why wouldn’t they be? There will be some of the most creative people in the world working on it with years of research and experience and millions of dollars behind it.

So what’s wrong with this?

First, as usual, it’s not a worthwhile deal for the city. With an annual budget of 11.5 billion, the MTA hopes to bring in another 20 million in ad revenue with the program during the next year - a whopping total of .17% of their budget.

The MTA and New York City are becoming outdoor advertising companies themselves, turning over the captive eyes of commuters for a handful of revenue. Many don’t realize this conflict of interest is making it difficult for the city to regulate advertising, even when it’s clearly illegal.

Another point is that it creates a “read-only” culture. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Lawrence Lessig talks aboutread only culture” versus “read/write culture.” He uses this analogy to talk about copyright, but I’m going to radically extend his argument to the city.

Our city is read-only. You’re free to read advertising, business signs, and city signs. But dare you write or hang anything of your own; you will be labeled as a criminal - a graffiti vandal. In many cities it’s even illegal to hang a sign for a garage sale on a light pole. If you happen to have a several thousand dollars, you might be able to say what you want - as long as it’s not too political.

But this is public space. You’re free to say whatever you want in public space, but freedom of speech does not extend to the visual environment. The visual environment is pay to play. Public visual space has become commercial space.

The visual environment is read only.

Why is read/write better? Because you can consume, process, and respond. This is how we think critically. This is how we learn. You can talk back. You can express yourself. You don’t just consume expression, you create expression.

Read/write is how democracy works.

There’s a reason kids want to write their names on walls. There’s a reason why people take graffiti seriously. Granted, graffiti writers don’t always know how to direct this energy, but I’d argue there’s some overlap with the reasons one writes their name on a wall and the reasons one runs for the school board. Being able to write means being able to affect your environment. To change it. You exist in the world not as a consumer, but an active citizen.

Read only culture creates apathy.

So how could the MTA do it right? Strip all the advertising from the transit system. Demand more tax revenue for public transit. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of brilliant ways that to raise money that will also make the city more livable, like increasing parking meter rates to raise $5 billion dollars. Use the surplus money to fund better, more dynamic, and temporary art in transit programs. Create an open application process and let some of New York’s great artists and designers wrap a car. They’ll liven up the system and speak to riders as fellow citizens.

Yes it sounds impossible, but as the Situationists said, “Be realistic, demand the impossible!

To give more credit, beyond Larry Lessig, I’m also synthesizing some ideas from artist Brett Cook-Dizney and others I can’t think of right away.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Underfunding Causes Concessions to The Private Sector


Sorry Amber, for Calif. Republicans you’re just not as important as this precious, precious money.

The L.A. Times is reporting Clear Channel has its eye on 674 state owned digital billboards on California Highways. The billboards were installed to alert drivers to road hazards and for Amber Alerts providing “urgent bulletins in the most serious child-abduction cases.”

But now the state is listening to Clear Channel.

Apparently California needs money. In the Governor’s budget it says, “chronic underinvestment has increased congestion and has resulted in California having some of the most distressed highway and road conditions in the United States.”

Of course, this is the neo-liberal fantasy:

1. the government under-funds infrastructure
2. infrastructure falls apart
3. Conservatives claim that government can’t be trusted and we need private industry and competition!
4. Conservatives then make private, exclusive deals with corporations so they can sweep in to the rescue/for the profit.

I can’t imagine this proposal going very far, but the whining about being broke and the publicity that follows may be intended to prepare voters for a comparatively less disgusting option.

As argued in the L.A. Times story, yes it’s an eyesore, yes it might be dangerous to drivers, yes it will train people pay less attention to a sign designed to help abducted children and tell them about emergencies - thereby nearly nullifying it. But more important that that, it’s public space and public property that belongs to us, not corporations.

But perhaps you’re more fiscally minded. This is another bad deal made by politicians with advertising and marketing companies. (Politicians who are most likely being lobbied by and receiving campaign donations from Clear Channel.) Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster) says the money will be used for highway repair and potentially may be “tens of millions of dollars.” The California Transportation Commission’s annual budget is $28,466,000,000.

Another drop in the bucket. Sorry Amber.

Thanks for the tip from reader Sam.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

With Billboards, Cities are facing the digital decision-AAA

This article was taken from the Anti-Advertising Agencies website and highlights the new debate over digital billboard signs around the country.

Ah, for the good old days, when billboards were merely a blight you could avoid, sort of, by averting your eyes.

Now the outdoor advertising companies have us right where they want us: stuck in traffic or at a red light, facing a digital sign that changes about every seven seconds. At least at home, zombied out in front of our televisions, we get a little programming with our digital ads. With digital billboards, we just get ads.

“There’s no mute button, no on-off switch, no changing the station.”

“We’re there 24-7,” Clear Channel Outdoor chief executive Paul Meyer told the Washington Post last year. “There’s no mute button, no on-off switch, no changing the station.”

He says that like it’s a good thing.

And for the billboard industry, it’s a very good thing, as the fast-changing ads are bringing booming profits.But for the rest of us — those who do not own billboard companies or have stock in them or accept money from them to fund our political campaigns — digital billboards represent a significant ratcheting up of the industry’s assault on the American landscape.

Lamar Advertising, which wants to erect a 60-by-20-foot digital sign Downtown, filed for permits to convert 42 billboards around the city — including 10 Downtown — into digital ones, hoping to beat a moratorium imposed by City Council as it considers legislation that would give council a vote on all sign replacements.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl complained that the legislation “created a chaotic position now for us to be in, in that we have to consider 42 LED billboards.” Another way to look at it is that now we all know the scope of Lamar’s digital dream.

From Connecticut to California, digital billboards are becoming an increasingly hot issue as outdoor advertising companies seek to convert existing billboards to digital and erect new ones. State and local governments are struggling with how to regulate this bold new breed.

In September, the Federal Highway Administration gave digital billboards its blessing when it issued a memo stating that they conform to the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, even though the act prohibits flashing, intermittent or moving lights on billboards — and even though the FHA’s study of the safety of digital billboards won’t be completed until next year. States have the last word on whether they want them, though, and so far they’re legal in 38 states.

A bill in the Missouri Senate would allow existing billboards to be converted to digital ones, currently prohibited by the state transportation department. The legislation has rekindled a long-running local battle between outdoor advertisers and scenic advocates, writes the Springfield Business Journal.

Beginning June 1, Texas will allow digital billboards along state highways, even within cities, if municipalities want them. Houston, Dallas and Austin have bans on new billboards, but San Antonio’s city council voted in December to allow 15 digital signs as permanent “experiments,” to the dismay of the San Antonio Conservation Society, Scenic San Antonio, the American Institute of Architects and neighborhood groups. What would Lady Bird think?

With billboard regulations written before the advent of digital signs, cities are looking around to see how other places are regulating them. In Reno, Nev., where digital billboards are not allowed, the planning commission is studying other cities’ ordinances after a proposed change to permit them.

Beaufort County, S.C., banned construction of new billboards 24 years ago, but now Atlanta-based Adams Outdoor Advertising is lobbying it to permit conversion of existing billboards to digital ones.

We want the existing signs gone, not replaced with signs even more garish and distracting.

“Tell them no,” wrote the Island Packet newspaper in an editorial. “We want the existing signs gone, not replaced with signs even more garish and distracting. Let’s preserve some semblance of the Lowcountry aesthetic we cherish.”

In Long Beach, Calif., three neighborhood groups are fighting the construction of six digital billboards along local freeways; each sign would be 40 feet high, with a 30-by-20-foot screen.

The Long Beach City Council’s budget oversight committee endorsed the billboards in January, but council will hold hearings on the proposal in a few weeks. The budget committee has good reason to favor the billboards: Their owner would split the revenue with the city, bringing in an estimated $1.5 million to $2 million annually, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Profit-sharing is just one tactic outdoor advertisers are using to get municipalities to warm to digital signs. They’re also using existing billboards as leverage to reduce their number in exchange for permission to erect digital ones, as Lamar hopes to do here by removing 11 billboards in exchange for the Downtown digital billboard. In San Antonio, twice as much square footage must come down for each digital billboard that goes up.

Other selling points across the country are that the digital billboards can be helpful during Amber Alerts, as “wanted” posters identifying criminal suspects and communicating emergency information during disasters.

Helpful as those may be, such infrequent uses won’t compensate for the powerful negative impact an onslaught of digital billboards will have on the natural landscape and the built environment.

The digital decision is one they don’t have to make in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, where all billboards are banned. Pittsburgh’s vistas are every bit as worthy of preservation as theirs.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Zast Berlin Subway TV Takeover

Zast somehow took over the video feed on the Berlin subway system and ran his own video. For how long I dont know. Why? Because he could. Bravo.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stained Glass-PosterChild

This is some truly far out shit by PosterChild who is a toronto based public artist collaborating with Jason Eppink and Steve Lambert of the Anti Advertising Agency. Not only does the work look stunning but the messages are clear, re-appropriation of public advertising structures only leads to good things.

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Light Criticism-GRL

The graffiti research lab made this project happen and we should all take note. Simple words sometimes are the best words.

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    The Gift, Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

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    Spent: Sex, Evolution, & Consumer Behavior

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    The Cultures of Cities

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    Branding New York

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    No Logo

    Kalle Lasn
    Culture Jam

    Stuart Ewen
    Captains of Consciousness

    Stuart Ewen
    All Consuming Images

    Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
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    Jeff Ferrell
    Crimes of Style

    Jeff Ferrell
    Tearing Down the Streets

    John Berger
    Ways of Seeing

    Joe Austin
    Taking the Train

    Rosalyn Deutsche
    Evictions art + spatial politics

    Jane Jacobs
    Death+Life of American Cities