Business groups, non-profit organizations and community groups joined with outdoor sign companies to announce the launch of Sign Up L.A., a coalition to support the development of policies designed to encourage the use and location of digital billboards in Los Angeles. The group hopes to bring community benefits to the city, including enhanced public safety initiatives and increased economic development. Sign Up L.A. supports policies similar to those used in forty-three states and more than 450 localities across the country, including such California cities as Sacramento and Oakland.
Sign Up L.A. launched with 20 members. The initial members are: Art Share L.A., Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Lamar Advertising, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce, Clear Channel Outdoor, Ad Council, LA Freewalls, LALA Gallery, Los Angeles Downtown Arts District (LADAD), Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, MacDonald Media, Billboard Connection, Going Green Film Festival, Daktronics, Yesco, Foundation for a Better Life, Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and Minorities in Broadcasting.
The coalition's mission is to advocate for public policies in support of digital sign usage that will maximize the public benefits of signs, generate the economic benefits to businesses and the local economy (including good-paying jobs, wages, benefits, taxes and fees), and produce critical new revenues and jobs in the city of Los Angeles during a time of fiscal constraints. The coalition also supports policies that allow the city to modernize its outdoor advertising landscape, including improving signs by employing sustainable, modern digital technology, ensuring that these signs are located in appropriate non-residential areas, and reducing the number of existing static signs.
The Sign Up L.A. coalition will be releasing a series of white papers looking at the "Digital Gap" that will impact the city of Los Angeles should progress not be made in implementing digital signage public policy.
The first study will be released this week and will focus on public safety. Additional studies to be released focus on revenues, impact on the economy, and impact on business and non-profits.
"The outdoor advertising industry is a critical partner to the community of Los Angeles," said Rick Robinson, board president, Art Share L.A. "Without digital signs, public safety messages, like Amber Alerts and emergency situation warnings are lost, and the many non-profits that rely on billboards to communicate their causes will be left without donated advertising space. By working towards a policy solution to address digital signage, the city can ensure that these resources will not be lost."
"Outdoor advertising represents a critical part of the marketing mix for both small and large businesses, creating opportunities that allow these businesses to effectively reach Angelenos and encourage local consumerism," said Stuart Waldman, president of VICA. "This will help grow our local businesses and allow for job creation that will aid the city's economic health."
"Digital billboards offer an opportunity to change messages in real-time, making it possible for advertisers, law enforcement and other public safety agencies to rapidly reach large audiences quickly and efficiently with important and sometimes life-saving messages," said Ray Baker, vice president and general manager of Lamar Advertising. "Recognizing such opportunities over the last several years, other forward-looking cities in California have implemented legislative solutions to maximize public benefits for their citizens through reducing existing static signs and permitting digital in appropriate non-residential locations. Sign Up L.A. will work to ensure the city of Los Angeles uses these examples."
Sign Up L.A. plans to be active in the public dialogue as the city of Los Angeles considers a legislative solution to address the longstanding issues surrounding digital signage.