Australia: A Modern Global Power House or still a Nanny Mentality?
Let’s look at Digital Signage. It’s the world’s fastest growing OOH advertising medium and retail form of communicating brand awareness and advertising with 70% of people over the age of 12 viewing digital signage every month. It’s an obvious massive target market and it keeps growing at a massive rate. In Australia alone, digital signage is expected to grow between 12 to 15% per year over the next four years to a staggering estimated $130 million per annum plus.
So why are road management authorities and local councils assessing digital signage as an evil distraction that is going to cause mass carnage on our roads? Why is it perceived that a digital sign is more distracting than an illuminated static sign? Where is the data they access to make these decisions? In Western Australia, the managing authority is Main Roads, In Victoria you have VicRoads and so on, each state has a controlling body.
Let’s look at the simplest form of the digital signage market first. The humble LED trailer originally designed as a road safety alert trailer. Now of course they are used for all sorts of advertising and are commonly plonked in front of a retail outlet advertising “50% off, this week only” flashing red and blue with the message changing periodically. If this store is lucky (or unlucky) enough to be on a main road, that authority may decide that the changing digital screen is a major distraction and request it shut down. Most aren’t arguing about an unlicensed sign or an illegal sign in the sense of it not having a permit, they argue it is unsafe by causing a distraction to motorists.
However, (and I love this bit) if the sign says “This road will be closed Saturday 15th to Monday 17th”, then it’s okay?? WHAT? How does the content of the message portray a lesser or greater danger than the methodology of the display. A static “50% discounted beds” is fine, but not on an electronic LED trailer. A safety message is safe but not if it’s advertising. Someone explain that logic to me please.
By Vernon Kingman