20 x 54 inch Mobile Billboards for Uber/Lyft  “A proposed framework would prevent local governments from establishing their own rules.”

20 x 54 inch Mobile Billboards for Uber/Lyft “A proposed framework would prevent local governments from establishing their own rules.”

Photo: From FLAPOL

“…Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, is sponsoring a bill (SB 1352) that would provide a pathway for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft to incorporate digital advertising into their business model.

The framework would allow both drivers and their companies to earn additional revenue.

The signs would be illuminated and digitally operated. The bill limits the signs to no taller than 20 inches and no wider than 54 inches. Regardless of the size, the sign could not extend beyond the rear or front windshield or otherwise impair the driver’s vision.

The signs could only operate while the vehicle is running.

Brandes’ bill also requires the advertisements to abide by all state guidelines regarding lighting requirements.

The signs would be prohibited from advertising any illegal goods or services or any ads that include nudity, depictions of violence or disparaging or false advertisements.

While the bill, along with a version in the house (HB 1039), would directly relate to Uber and Lyft, they’re not the companies pushing the legislation. It’s actually a request from Firefly, an out of state company that makes and sells the advertising billboards companies would use.

Despite its initial approval, there are some concerns about the bill.

New Port Richey Republican Sen. Ed Hooper worried first about whether or not vehicles driving around with what he described as the equivalent of two big screen televisions on top of their cars would pose a safety hazard.

‘If that were the only thing this bill said I could probably say let’s give it a chance,’ Hooper said.

But that wasn’t his only concern. Hooper also lamented the preemption component of the law by creating a universal set of regulations for all municipalities and county governments to follow.

Hooper, along with several others, said some of the rule-making around digital advertising on cars might be better left to elected officials in the areas affected by their inclusion.

Even with the pushback, Hooper was the lone no-vote in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee.

Brandes closed on his bill with a promise to continue working with legislators on language to ensure a good final product.

The bill heads next to the Innovation, Industry and Technology committee.

The House version has not yet been heard in committee.”

— Janelle Irwin Taylor, Florida Politics

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Consumer Reports:  “Digital billboards are tracking you. And they really, really want you to see their ads.”  On social media, your TV, etc.

Consumer Reports: “Digital billboards are tracking you. And they really, really want you to see their ads.” On social media, your TV, etc.

Photo: Consumer Reports

“How the most intrusive parts of the web are expanding into the real world, complete with data collection and targeted ads.

On a bright Friday morning, Frank O’Brien is giving me a tour through Times Square in New York City. Thousands of strangers are milling around us on the sidewalk, and in the crowd, it’s easy to feel anonymous. But according to O’Brien, many of the billboards and screens towering over our heads in every direction know a lot about who we are.

‘As we stand here, there are devices behind that screen that are picking ID numbers from our cell phones,’ O’Brien tells me, gesturing toward a billboard at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. Using those devices and other technology, he says, ‘We know who is in Times Square at a given moment.’

O’Brien, the CEO of a high-tech advertising platform called Five Tier, launches an app on his phone. He taps a few buttons and in an instant, the billboard changes to display a picture of me I’d sent him the day before. Suddenly, I’m famous, with a 20-foot-high photo of me gazing out over the tourists. ‘It still amazes me sometimes,’ he says…

Data including your gender, age, race, income, interests, and purchasing habits can be used by a company such as Five Tier to trigger an advertisement right away. Or, more often, it will be used for planning where and when to show ads in the future—maybe parents of school-age children tend to pass a particular screen at 3 p.m. on weekdays, while 20-something singles usually congregate nearby on Saturday nights.

Then the tracking continues. Once your phone is detected near a screen showing a particular ad, an advertising company may follow up by showing you related ads in your social media feed, and in some cases these ads may be timed to coordinate with the commercials you see on your smart TV at night.

It doesn’t stop there. Advertisers are keenly interested in ‘attribution,’ judging how well a marketing campaign influences consumer behavior. For instance, is it better to target people like you with online ads for fast food right after you see a restaurant’s new TV commercial, or to wait until after you drive by a new billboard the next day? The advertising industry looks for the answers by watching where you go in person, what you do online, and what you buy with your credit card.

Charts: Example shown in Consumer reports

These aren’t futuristic scenarios. They are a recent but growing trend, according to executives in the advertising business. ‘The industry has really started to wake up to this within the last year,’ says Ian Dallimore, the director of digital growth for Lamar Advertising, a leader in out-of-home advertising. ‘If you’re not using data to better plan and buy ads, then you’re probably not doing out-of-home the right way.’

Researchers say that as tracking and ad targeting spill over from the web into the real world, our collective privacy and sense of control are eroding. If you don’t want to see ads at home, you can close your browser or turn off your phone, but you can’t avoid the ads you see in public. And there’s no practical way to completely block the location tracking used to place those ads…

Photo: Consumer Reports
Lawmakers and regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission are paying more attention to data privacy, but it’s not clear how the measures being put in place will affect the way individuals are tracked through their phones, and how the data is used by data brokers and their clients. Several out-of-home advertising companies I spoke with said they already comply with GDPR, Europe’s sweeping privacy regulation that was implemented in 2018. The companies also say they are prepared for the most stringent privacy legislation in the U.S., the California Consumer Privacy Act, which is supported by Consumer Reports and goes into effect in January 2020.

Five Tier’s Frank O’Brien says that, just like every other industry, the out-of-home advertising business should be regulated. But for now, if you’re not comfortable with how out-of-home advertising uses your information, you don’t have much recourse. ‘I don’t think there’s anything you can do about it,’ he says. ”

— Thomas Germain, Consumer Reports
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“McDonald’s Sweden is putting beehives in billboards”

“McDonald’s Sweden is putting beehives in billboards”

Photo: Macdonalds Sweden

“Earlier this year, McDonald’s Sweden received global attention for a fun little (literally) publicity stunt that also raised awareness of the ongoing issue of dwindling bee populations. Billed as ‘the world’s smallest McDonald’s,’ this ‘McHive’ didn’t serve any food. Instead, it was a fully-functioning beehive designed to mimic a MickeyD’s outpost with features like small Golden Arches and a not-particularly-functional drive-thru.

Yet, as intentionally silly as the concept was, McHives caught on, with other Swedish locations adding one of the beehives to their roof. And now, after seeing the success of that campaign, the creative agency behind it, Nord DDB, are back again with another bee-benefiting concept for McDonald’s Sweden: building habitats for wild bees into and behind billboards.

‘It is estimated that 30 percent of Sweden’s wild bees are threatened,’ the announcement explains. ‘A big problem is that they lack places to rest.’ The solution is twofold: Some McDonald’s locations have replaced their usual billboards with wood installations that wild bees and other insects can use as a kind of ‘bee hotel.’ These signs are available to be ordered by any of McDonald’s’ Swedish franchises and can be customized to include whatever messaging the location wants.

Photo: Macdonalds Sweden

But even simpler still, the fast food chain has also teamed up with the massive billboard brand JC Decaux to place habitats for wild bees behind existing billboards in spaces that aren’t otherwise used. ‘Bees are most comfortable if their nests are in a south facing position,’ the campaign states. ‘The first test is now live in Jarfalla outside Stockholm, where six large bee hotels have been mounted on the backside of a north facing billboard with hopes of scaling up the initiative in spring 2020.’

You can see both styles of ‘bee hotels’ in action in this video:

‘The survival of bees is an important issue for society as a whole,’ Henrik Nerell, environmental manager at McDonald’s in Sweden, said. ‘That we can use our signs for a good cause feels great. The initiative, which has sprung from our franchisees’ personal commitment to the issue, has been made possible in collaboration with JCDecaux and we are proud and excited to welcome our flying guests soon as they move into our bee hotels.'”

— Mike Pomranz, Food and Wine Magazine

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Tech:  “This self-driving billboard and vending machine is so dystopian”

Tech: “This self-driving billboard and vending machine is so dystopian”

Photo: PerceptIn, Mashable

The company says the DragonFly is a retail opportunity and will start selling it in the first part of 2019 for $40,000. It’s this lowish price compared to other digital billboards (this marketing site says a digital ad starts at around $10,000 for a month depending on the location) and to other self-driving vehicles that the CEO sees as a key selling point. That and its capabilities to collect location-based data showing when and where people are paying attention to the vehicle…”

— Shasha Lekach, Mashable

Read entire and see video in this article

Two additional examples of these types of devices

“PepsiCo testing self-driving vending machine in California”

Photo: University of the Pacific in Stockton, UPI.com

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“PerceptIn unleashes a driverless mobile vending machine that displays video ads”

Photo: PerceptIn, Venture Beat

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Tech: Traffic jam food delivery via billboard ordering is slated for LA next

Tech: Traffic jam food delivery via billboard ordering is slated for LA next

Photo: Burger King in Washinton Post

“Amid that influx of innovation, …Burger King is the first fast-food brand to deliver food to people in the middle of a traffic jam. In Mexico City, the company said, delivery drivers are already receiving an average of 7,000 orders per day, mostly to homes and offices.

To make the traffic jam delivery process possible, Burger King’s Mexico app activates the service after identifying congested areas in Mexico City during periods of high traffic. Customers can place an order only if the app determines that the driver will be locked in traffic for at least 30 minutes and they are within 1.8 miles of a Burger King restaurant, the company said.

Push notifications alert drivers when they’ve entered a delivery zone, and company billboards display information about the status of customer orders. Drivers are prompted to place their order using hands-free voice command.

Though the company did not offer a timeline, Burger King says it expects to roll out the Traffic Jam Whopper in other cities with high-density traffic, such as Los Angeles, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.”

— Peter Holley , Washington Post

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Tech:  Larger scale building installations starting to convert to digital as larger sign tech becomes possible

Tech: Larger scale building installations starting to convert to digital as larger sign tech becomes possible

Photo: Atlanta in Town

“Midtown stakeholders mobilize against massive digital billboards”

“An effort to digitize two of Atlanta’s most prominent billboards has been met with a legal challenge.

In February, the City of Atlanta’s Office of Buildings issued permits that would allow Tazmedia Group, which owns the massive advertising signs on the side and top of a 1960s office building at 1655 Peachtree Street, to upgrade the billboards to digital changing-message signs.

The Trivision billboards, which adorn the same building as a recognizable metal peach, are marketed by the owner as the ‘world’s largest,’ passed by hundreds of thousands of commuters daily on Interstate 85.

But a few parties who could be impacted by the potential glow of the gigantic signage are calling foul…

‘They did not comply with the ordinance, they were illegally permitted, they exceed the allowed sign sizes by several multiples, and they are general-advertising signs masquerading as business-identification signs,’ say a summary of the BZA appeal…

The appellants now say that allowing the signs to be converted to LED light boards would be ‘further rewarding the sign owner’s illegal conduct.'”

— Collin Kelley, Atlanta in Town

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