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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Advertising on Cars: “Digital license plates coming soon to Florida, company claims”

Advertising on Cars: “Digital license plates coming soon to Florida, company claims”

Video: ABC Action News
“Digital license plates are about to go mainstream in Florida, and it could help save taxpayers millions.

According to NBC News, a company called Reviver Auto has developed electronic license plates, dubbed Rplates.

Rplates are now on sale in California, and will be available in Arizona, Texas and Florida in the near future…

With a click of a button, you could have your favorite sports team, show off your alma mater or support your favorite cause.

Each plate’s unique characters are constantly displayed…

If given permission advertisers could display ads on someone’s tag. The feature is available while a car is parked.

According to the state, Section 320.06(5), Florida Statutes [leg.state.fl.us], allows the department to evaluate technologies for alternative license plates; however, no pilot program is currently in place.

The company hopes to have the pilot program in place in Florida later this year.

Privacy/safety concerns

NBC News interviewed Dr. Ashraf Gaffar, an assistant professor of engineering at Arizona State University, who studies automotive technologies. He agreed that digital license plates could offer some benefits but cautioned that they might introduce other problems.

‘Driver distraction is one of the biggest killers of teenagers in the United States,’ said Gaffar, who is not affiliated with Reviver. ‘Having one more thing to look at while we’re driving will take our eyes off the road for a second or two more, which will have some side effects.’

Gaffer also warned that electronic plates could be ‘fertile ground for hackers,’ and could raise privacy concerns. He said more research is needed before the digital plates go mainstream.

— Andrew Ruiz, ABC Action News
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“Bellevue start-up creates human digital billboards”

“Bellevue start-up creates human digital billboards”

Video: KIRO7

“A start-up in Bellevue has taken the concept of billboards, made it digital, and a lot smaller. Nomad has launched the product on college campuses around the country — starting with the University of Washington.

On the way to class on Monday, Derek Ishii made $15 on the University of Washington campus.

You’ve probably seen a human sandwich board before — those people who wear advertisements like a poncho. Think of Ishii as the millennial version of that.

‘On my way to class, I just open up the app, click the start advertising button,’ Derek told us, showing us the iPad he straps to his backpack or the front of his chest.

He’s a ‘nomad’ — working for the Bellevue start-up with the same name.

Jonah Friedl, 23 — barely out of college himself — founded the company when a restaurant he worked for while attending Washington State University tasked him with developing a unique strategy to attract student customers.

‘If we want to put people on campus, put these representatives on campus — it’s really hard to do that — hard to track, hard to manage,’ Friedl said. ‘So we thought we could build some technology to help us out with that.’

Here’s how it works: A brand like KIRO 7 will advertise on the screen. The nomad then wears the screen around campus. Due to sensors in the screen, the company can tell which areas they go to and how many interactions they have.

Then, Friedl tracks it.

‘This shows density of exposure—where they’re getting the most impressions,” he told us, showing us a map of the University of Washington campus on his computer, with areas highlighted like weather radar.

Sometimes impressions mean handing out a coupon card with a code, seeing how many are redeemed — ‘and then correlate sales or app downloads and attribute that to Nomad,” Jonah said.

The nomads themselves — mostly college students — can lease an iPad from Nomad (the company) or use their own…”

–Joanna Small, KIRO7

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Drone Video Advertising:  “Central Floridian invents first digital ‘drone billboard’ “

Drone Video Advertising: “Central Floridian invents first digital ‘drone billboard’ “

Video: ClickOrlando.com
“Drobotron used for advertising, entertainment…
As cars cruised past the Parc Corniche Hotel this week, passengers may have noticed a first-of-its-kind sight hovering high above the International Drive resort.

A 360-degree LED video screen mounted on a drone displayed videos of the hotel, as well as advertisements promoting pizza and $5 margaritas at the resort’s restaurant.

‘Our patent revolves around a flying TV,’ said Drobotron inventor Bobby Watts. ‘The first time I saw it fly I thought, ‘Wow, this is a game-changer.”…

Watts, who is licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones commercially, attached a 40-by-10-inch video display to an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Video clips, still photos and text can be uploaded to Drobotron before the radio-controlled aircraft takes flight.

To ensure safety, the 30-pound drone cannot be flown over people. But Drobotron’s video screens can easily be seen as it flies a safe distance from crowds.

‘Even on a bright sunny Florida day, you can see the screen for hundreds of feet,’ Watts said.

A promotional video for Drobotron shows the drone displaying the words ‘Grand Opening’ over a new business and informing passersby that a home is ‘For Sale.’

Some have suggested the aerial billboard could be used to display emergency messages during search and rescue operations, flown during fireworks and theme park shows or be utilized as a scoreboard during surfing competitions, according to Watts…

For $200 per hour, Watts’s company will fly Drobotron over a customer’s event or business. He has also begun taking preorders from licensed drone operators who are eager to purchase one of the $20,000 flying billboards.

‘This is our first aircraft. We’re working on bigger ones and bigger ones,’ Watts said. ‘So this is only the beginning.'”

–Mike DeForest, ClickOrlando.com

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New Location: “Floating billboard makes waves in Destin”

New Location: “Floating billboard makes waves in Destin”

Photo: Michael Snyder, NWF Daily News

DESTIN — A Destin City Councilman says a local advertiser has gone too far with its large LED billboard on the back of a boat he spotted at Crab Island over the weekend.

Parker Destin shared photos and a status on social media Sunday that showed a large boat with a 20 foot-by 30 foot, two-sided LED electronic billboard advertising various businesses. The boat was driving past Crab Island on Sunday.

‘I understand everybody needs to reach an audience, but good grief,’ Destin said. ‘That was a pretty garish and invasive way to do that.’

The councilman said he has fielded calls from Destin residents concerned about the billboard. The city does not have jurisdiction over Crab Island since it is legally state land, Destin said, but he is still worried about the implications of the floating billboard for the city’s image overall.

‘The billboard is probably the most in in-your-face manifestation of what’s occurring (on Crab Island),’ he said. ‘It’s the over-commercialization of our natural resources, which is troubling because they need to be as natural as they can be in order to entice people to come and visit and to entice people to come and reside here’…”

–Annie Blanks, NWF Daily News

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Legal: “Miami Beach tries to ban floating billboards, but company says law can’t touch ocean boats”

Legal: “Miami Beach tries to ban floating billboards, but company says law can’t touch ocean boats”

Photo: Miami New Times

“…A Miami Beach-based company’s take on oceanfront advertising — a boat that hauls back-to-back, 46-foot-wide high-definition screens — hit local beaches months ago. But residents were not pleased with giant roving ads disrupting their views.

‘I mean, I just thought it was ridiculous,’ says Michael DeFilippi, a Miami Beach activist. ‘It was just complete commercialization of our city and really taking away from the natural environment and the peace of the beach.’

Comments about the boat poured in to the environmental-minded Facebook page DeFilippi runs, Clean Up Miami Beach. ‘Is nothing sacred?’ one person asked. DeFilippi, for his part, worried that increasing numbers of billboard-loaded boats would crowd the beaches.

Now Miami Beach has passed a rule banned advertising vessels from some of the waters within its jurisdiction. During a meeting Wednesday, the city commission voted unanimously in favor of the ban, proposed by Commissioner Michael Grieco.

‘All I know is that it’s really obnoxious and intrusive to people when you’re riding up and down in a billboard,’ Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez told the owner of the company in question, Ballyhoo Media. ‘You come to the beach because it’s a kind of tropical paradise. The last thing you need is a boat with a billboard right in your face.’

The vote came despite the arguments of Ballyhoo Media owner Adam Shapiro, who he loves the beach and believes his company will help instead of hurt it by offering a cheaper, quicker way to reach customers and make announcements…'”

— Brittany Shammas, Miami New Times. 

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