SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Sign Up L.A. Coalition Launches to Support Digital Billboards that Deliver Important Benefits to the L.A. Community

Coalition of Business Organizations, Non-profits, Community Groups and Sign Companies Formed to Ensure City does not Lose Significant Public Benefits of Digital Signs

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Business groups, non-profit organizations and community groups joined with outdoor sign companies today to announce the launch of Sign Up L.A., a coalition to support the development of common sense policies designed to encourage the reasonable use and location of digital billboards in Los Angeles – and, by doing so, to bring critical community benefits to the city, including enhanced public safety initiatives and increased economic development. Sign Up L.A. supports policies similar to those successfully 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. launches today with 20 members, all of whom support reasonable digital billboard policies in the City of Los Angeles.  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 common sense 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 serious fiscal constraints. The coalition also supports policies that allow the city to continue 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 also reducing the number of existing static signs.

Full Page Ad in Daily News Announces Launch, White Papers to be Released

To announce the launch of Sign Up L.A., a full page ad appears today in the Los Angeles Daily News. In addition, to share information about the real benefits and value digital signs have brought to Los Angeles, Sign Up L.A. has launched a website: www.signupla.com, along with a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SignUpLA.  These sites both provide information and materials to Los Angeles residents and community groups about the positive benefits that these digital signs have already brought to Los Angeles as well as highlight other potential benefits as the modernization of the city's outdoor advertising landscape continues.

To support the development of policies that will allow for the reasonable use and location of digital billboards, 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.

Diverse Coalition Supports Digital Billboards and the Public Benefits They Deliver

"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, like Art Share L.A., that rely on billboards to communicate their causes will be left without donated advertising space. By working towards a responsible policy solution to address digital signage, the city can ensure that these resources that provide a valuable community and public safety service 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. A public policy solution will provide clarity for the businesses and groups that rely on outdoor advertising and help to drive business in Los Angeles."

"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 to form their own blueprint for responsible digital signage policy."

The Sign Up L.A. coalition recognizes the benefit of digital signs and has come together in support of policies that will ensure the timely communication of public safety, traffic, and natural disaster alerts, as well as support non-profit organizations and other community initiatives. The coalition also recognizes the economic benefits that can be generated to businesses, large and small, including job creation and marketing of a diverse selection of products to consumers.

Sign Up L.A. will be active in the public dialogue as the city of Los Angeles considers a legislative solution to address the longstanding issues surrounding digital signage.

 

SOURCE Sign Up L.A.

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