Scenic Watch
Citizens for a Scenic Florida

October 18, 2010

Historical Society/Residents
Billboard Construction

Billboard Would Block View of Arcadia Oklahoma's
Famous Round Barn

"Construction of the billboard frame started Tuesday just east of the barn. Residents and town officials say the structure will block the view of the landmark and is an eyesore to visitors traveling west on State Highway 66.

... The land where the billboard is being built was bought by Zoom Media for $2,400 on Sept. 24, according to the Oklahoma County Assessor's website. The parcel is less than a tenth of an acre and valued at $300.

...Ernest Lee Breger, caretaker of the barn, is known by the locals as 'Butch the Barn Man.' He's lived steps away from the landmark nearly all of his 67 years. Not only does Breger run the gift shop inside, his lighthearted banter and knowledge of the barn's history make his conversation as enlightening as reading the signs around the building. 'We've cut back trees around this place to make it easier to see and photograph,' Breger said....

Photos: Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman


.....'If someone were to build something in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Parisians would be hopping mad.'

Photo: Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Jimmy Blue, a local resident and barn volunteer, admits emotions have been high since Tuesday afternoon. Workers haven't been back to finish construction.

Blue heard about the construction and was at the barn while workers were still there. 'The police chief made me cool down,' Blue said. 'I had the construction pickup blocked in and we weren't going to let them out until they took it down.'

The town has no ordinances regarding signs that would stop construction of the billboard....

'It's a blight,' Blue said.

The next town council meeting is Oct. 19.

-- by Vallery Brown, The Oklahoman


Fun Festivals and Events

North Florida

Oct 21-31
Pensacola Interstate Fair, Pensacola
Oct 23-24
15th Annual Festival of the Arts, Destin
Oct 29-31
Great American Cooter Festival, Inverness
Oct 30-Oct31
Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival, Micanopy
Oct 23-24
Sea and Sky Spectacular w Blue Angels,Jacksonville Beach
Nov 5-6
47th Annual Florida Seafood Festival, Apalachicola
Nov 6
15th Annual Blues 'n Bar-B-Que, Homosassa
Nov 6-7
Festival of the Arts, Inverness
Nov 11
Veteran's Day Parade, Jacksonville
Nov 12
Harvest Jamboree and Hunter's BBQ, Astor
Nov 12-14
St. Augustine Pirate Gathering 2010, St. Augustine
Nov 13-14
Homosassa Arts, Crafts and Seafood Festival, Old Homosassa

Central  Florida
Oct 23-24
Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora
Nov 4-14
Space Coast State Fair, Cocoa
Florida Balloon Festival, Apopka
Nov 5-7
Hudson Seafest Celebration, Port Richey
Nov 5-6
Sebastian Clambake Lagoon Festival, Sebastian
Nov 6
20th Annual Sarasota Blues Festival, Sarasota
Nov 6-7
Ruskin Seafood Festival, Ruskin
Nov 6-7
Festival of the Arts, Inverness
Nov 6-7
Ninth Annual Winter Park Concours d'Elegance, Winter Park
Nov 12-13
Quilts and Tea Festival, Davenport
Nov 12-14
RibFest, St. Petersburg
Nov 13-14
22nd Annual St. Armands Art Festival, Sarasota
Nov 13-14
Roar 'n Soar 2010, Polk City
South  Florida
Oct 22-23
Goombay Festival, Key West
Oct 22-24
Key Largo Pirates Festival, Key Largo
Oct 23
Wine on Harvest Moon, Deering Estate, Miami
Oct 23-24
Las Olas Art Fair with Oktoberfest Beer Garden, Fort Lauderdale
Oct 28-Nov 1
51st Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Fort Lauderdale
Oct 29-Nov 7
Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival, Pine Island and other locations in Lee County
Nov 5-7
13th Annual American Indian Arts Celebration, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation
Nov 5-6
Sebastian Clambake Lagoon Festival, Sebastian
Nov 6-7
2010 Wings Over Homestead Air Show, Homestead
Nov 6-7
Biannual Estero Fine Art Show, Estero
Nov 10-14
American Sandsculpting Championship Festival, Fort Myers Beach
Nov 12
Barnacle Under Moonlight, Barnacle Historic State Park, Miami.
Nov 12-14
Cape Coral Coconut Festival, Cape Coral
Nov 12-14
World Quilt Show XIV -- Florida, West Palm Beach
Nov 12-14
The 70th annual Ramble -- A Garden Festival, Fairchild, Coral Gables
Nov 13
EAA Aviation Day, Marathon
Nov 13
Aviation Day, Fort Myers
Nov 13
Holiday Gift Spectacular, Punta Gorda



Considering Digital Advertising on Streetcars andat Stations

Including Currently Banned Ads for Alcohol and Tobacco?

Example of Digital Mass Transit Advertising from Santa Monica Daily Press. Photo: Brandon Wise

Example of Digital Mass Transit Advertising from New York Daily News. Photo: Metropolitan Transit Authority

"...Business partners Tampa Historic Streetcar Inc., Hillsborough Area Regional Transit and the city must soon agree on the yellow trolley’s roughly $2.6 million budget for fiscal 2010-11. Their challenge is balancing the budget without digging deeper into the system’s dwindling endowment fund, which has sunk to under $1 million from its 2002 start of $5 million.

'We know it is going to run out,' said THS Chairman David Mechanik, who also sits on the HART board. 'We are trying to beef up advertising, and we are looking at service cuts.'

...Ed Stillo, national multimedia manager for HDR Engineering Inc., is developing a plan to increase advertising revenue. 'We really need to be on the job with this every day,' Stillo recently told the THS board.

The advertising plan calls for considering alcohol and tobacco advertising for the first time. Stillo told the THS board that Budweiser is interested in a deal.

But the HART board, which co-owns the streetcar with the city, would need to waive its ban on such advertising that currently applies to buses.

Stillo also proposes mounting light-emitting diode screens inside the trolleys that would be connected to a global positioning system. As the streetcar neared an advertiser’s location, its paid messages would appear on the flat-screen display on cue. Plans for similar LED advertising outside the streetcars or at system stations also are under consideration but could run into problems with the city, which has sought to restrict digital billboards....."

-- Mark Holan, Tampa Bay Business Journal


Photo: Sao Paulo Before the Ban from Financial Times - London

Sao Paulo
Successfully Bans Outdoor Advertising


"Four years ago, the streets of São Paulo, South America’s biggest city, were strewn with advertising. Messages on the surfaces of buildings, buses, shops, taxis and even private homes competed with billboards to create a chaotic and dizzying corporate assault on the senses.

So, Gilberto Kassab, the centre-right mayor of the city with the continent’s biggest consumer market, came up with a radical solution: a blanket ban on outdoor advertising. In late 2006, in spite of legal wrangles and business lobbying, he announced that, almost without exception, outdoor advertising would have to be removed within months.

'The Clean City Law came from a necessity to combat pollution... pollution of water, sound, air and the visual,' he said. 'We decided that we should start combating pollution with the most conspicuous sector – visual pollution.'

At the time, advertising and marketing executives feared the ban would be an insurmountable blow, and quietly hoped the law would not be fully enforced. Industry representatives protested that the ban would limit freedom of speech, kill jobs and badly damage their sector.

'We all thought it was the end of the world,' says Marcio Oliveira, vice-president of operations at Lew’LaraTBWA. 'We thought, OK, this is gonna screw up all our business.'

Three years after the new law came in, it is extremely difficult to find outdoor advertising in the city – no billboards, no ads on buses or taxis or in shop windows. But equally remarkable is how quickly big advertisers and the industry itself have adapted and, in fact, thrived.

Today, it is hard to find anyone – including among advertising and marketing professionals – who still has big complaints about the Lei Cidade Limpa, or 'Clean City Law'.

The city feels cleaner, they say, and the law forced creative innovations into other, newer, advertising methods that have often been more effective...

'I think it’s a good law,' says Nizan Guanaes, head of Grupo ABC, Brazil’s largest advertising group. 'It was a challenge for us because, of course, it’s easier to simply throw garbage advertising all over your city.'

Márcio Santoro, co-president of Agência Africa, part of Grupo ABC, says that before the law, 'It was really a mess. It was terrible. There came a point that for you to be noticed you had to buy a lot of ads, because there was so much noise.'

The law is now so popular that some companies that were able through legal action to maintain some outdoor presence chose not to, so as not to be seen as flying in the face of Cidade Limpa (Clean City)....

Marketing directors had to find a place to spend the money they previously put into billboards. The result, they say, was a creative flowering of new and alternative methods – including indoor innovations such as elevator and bathroom ads – but primarily in digital media....

Anna Freitag, marketing manager of Hewlett-Packard Brazil, says a realisation came that outdoor advertising is less effective than these newer strategies. 'A billboard is media on the road. In rational purchases it means less effectiveness as people are involved in so many things that it makes it difficult to execute the call to action,' she says. 'HP decided to go deeper and understand consumer behaviour – the path to purchase, and place media in this direction. The internet and social media are the big trends associated with point of sale presence.'...

The plan was probably never to maintain a complete ban on all outdoor advertising for ever. The expectation was that the law would sweep the city clean and later allow for some outdoor advertising in a small number of controlled locations...

But, three years after the implementation of Lei Cidade Limpa, few are clamouring for a return to those cluttered days."

-- Vincent Bevins, Financial Times


Bad Idea Award:

Using Digital Billboards to Warn Drivers about New Distracted Driving Law!

Russian Bus StopRussian Bus Stop
Photos: Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune

"...both Huntsville and Madison (AL) will crack down on drivers using wireless communication devices for anything but phone calls.

Huntsville's 'Eyes on the Road' ordinance, unanimously approved by the City Council in late July, makes it a crime for drivers to use a wireless device to 'send, receive, download or view" electronic or digital content. The Madison City Council passed an identical law last month.

The bottom line for drivers: no texting, no reading e-mail, no scrolling through music files, no peeking at YouTube...

.A message about the new law is also being rotated on Lamar's nine digital billboards in Huntsville."

-- Steve Doyle, The Huntsville Times

"...HOW EXACTLY does the state plan on minimizing the number of distracted drivers?

By barraging us with an array of roadside LED signs and digital billboards...

This will only serve to compound the disconcerting nature of the many harried drivers on the road. Reading billboards and signs could certainly be included in a list of distracting behaviors. I have a better idea.

How about just sending a text? This way, at least the state is only distracting its target audience."

-- Brian Getty, Boston Globe Letters to the Editor


News From Across the Nation



Silver City, NM - "Billboard Falls to Town Effort"

Photo: Christine Steele, Sun-News

Hempstead, NY - "NY Town Enacts Tough Cell Tower Limits"

Walker,MI - "Walker established six-month hold on digital billboards"

Rapid City, IA - UPDATE - Allowing On-Premise Digital Signs

" ...the city on Monday decided to allow the businesses to have digital signs their property, and the sign must be advertising for that business only.

The council earlier approved moratorium on all new off-premise signs that includes both replacement signs and electronic reader boards..."

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