Monday, September 29, 2008

Plan Calls For More Digital Billboards

The Active Network is a consulting group based in California that was hired by the city to draft a plan to raise private dollars for the city through partnerships. The Network's plan includes giving a bank exclusive rights to put ATMs on city property, giving exclusive rights to a beverage and food company to operate vending machines on city property, having an official telecommunications provider for the city, and licensing 15 big electronic billboards on city property.

The plan is being reviewed by a panel that includes city councilman Bill Peduto who says the plan is a good start but the idea of 15 big electronic billboards would create a "blade runner effect" of over saturation. Peduto said he would like to see more digital advertising just not more digital billboards. Peduto wants something similar to what he has seen in New York city where small digital advertising monitors are present in bus stops, taxi cabs and some elevators. Peduto is not totally against digital billboards, but he wants to see them used in a way that is respectful to the city's architecture and history. He said some places would be perfect for digital billboards. The plan estimates $4 million in revenues by 2011, but Peduto was more modest in projecting half a million dollars to $2 million annually.

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