480-657-8400 | info@signvalue.com

Thank you for subscribing to SignValue's weekly newsletter.  We hope that you find the articles interesting and informative.

By Staff Writer
June 22, 2017

Pat O'Donnell, President of YESCO Outdoor Media was recently inducted into the OAAA Hall of Fame in honor of an out of home career spanning 35 years.  O'Donnell started with Donrey Media Group in Reno, Nevada in the 1980's.  He joined YESCO in 1985 and has been instrumental in the company's growth.  O'Donnell also serves as a Vice Chair of the OAAA Board of Directors as Chairman of the Legislative Committee and on the boards of Geopath and the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising, Research and Education ("FOARE").  Insider interviewed O'Donnell last week.  
Pat, how did you enter the out of home business?
My dad had a small sign and billboard company he started in Placerville, CA after WWII. My first foray into the business was digging holes for wood pole structures in the 60's. After military service and college I went to work for the Donrey Media Group in sales in their Reno, Nevada office. A few years later I joined YESCO.
What's a typical day?
A typical day for me is meeting with our key people in sales, real estate, operations, and administration. My job is to clear the path for each of them so they can do what they do best. We have great people and I function predominantly in an advisory capacity. Ultimately, I'm responsible for the vision.
In June 2016, YESCO Outdoor partnered with Blip to help sell digital billboard space.  What is Blip and how has it helped YESCO?
YESCO was an early adopter of digital out-of-home. We now operate 40+ digital bulletins.Not a lot by the large public company standards, but for a small family-owned business we've been fairly ambitious. One of the principals of Blip had done SEO work for us. When he came to us with the concept of selling our digital space in eight second increments on a platform that mirrored buying advertising on-line, many of our folks were skeptical. I felt compelled to serve as an incubator for the model because I saw the potential of bringing thousands of businesses into our medium that never could have afforded to do out-of-home in an urban environment. It has far exceeded our expectations and has resulted in significant customer and revenue growth.
Are there synergies between operating a sign company and operating a billboard company?
YESCO is actually 4 separate companies. We operate an on-premise sign company, an outdoor media company, a franchising company for our service and maintenance business, and finally, a financing company that leases signs and equipment. We've enjoyed excellent synergy among the businesses through the years. Business owners who buy or lease custom corporate signage often become our advertisers as well.
How will the out of home business be different in 10 years?
Technology will continue to drive the changes in our industry. The need for efficiency will ensure that we will be forced to eliminate the barriers that make it difficult for our customers to buy, Speed to sale will be greatly accelerated. Data will continue to show the value of our product and out-of-home will become a core media purchase for advertisers.      

Lamar Spreads Wings, Acquires Another Airport Ad Agency
By Stephanie Riegel
June 21, 2017
Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising is continuing its growth in the airport advertising business with the acquisition of Atlanta, Georgia-based Corey Airport Services, a boutique advertising agency that specializes in airport advertising displays. The acquisition, which will close July 1, will nearly double the number of airports in which Lamar is doing business.

Corey Airport Services has contracts with nine airports in seven southern states, including Dallas Love Field.
Lamar currently has concessions in 11 airports, most of which are in the west or southwest.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though Lamar President and CEO Sean Reilly characterizes the deal as "relatively small"-several million dollars.

It's significant, however, because it will give Lamar-already the largest outdoor advertising company in the world-a larger footprint in the lucrative airport advertising sector.

"It's not a big deal but we'll do about $10 million in revenues out of it and give or take $1 million in cash flow contribution, and that will take our airport business to where it's doing about $38 million to $40 million in revenues and $5 million in cash flow contribution," Reilly says. "So it's a growing part of our business."

With Lamar's overall revenues at around $1.5 billion, a $38 million to $40 million airport business still represents less than 3% of the company's overall revenues. But the sector can be very profitable. It's also a good way to test new creative concepts.

"It's a great venue to experiment with," Reilly says. "You can do fun executions because you have an indoor setting. Airport travelers have lots of time on their hands so you can reach them in new ways. ... And when we do a really smart execution, the customer will pay for it."

Lamar broke into the airport advertising business just two years ago with the acquisition of Alliance Airport Advertising.
Billboard Battle Brings More Legal Problems for Salisbury
By Angeljean Chiaramida
June 16, 2017

SALISBURY, MA - A national advertising company filed a lawsuit Wednesday against three town officials, claiming civil rights violations dating to June 2014 when the Zoning Board of Appeals granted a permit to a local company to erect a billboard facing Interstate 95.

The lawsuit in Essex Superior Court, filed by Clear Channel Outdoor Inc., is the second lawsuit filed in connection with the board's approval in 2014 of one billboard company's permit application over another.

Both billboards would face I-95. One was proposed by Clear Channel and local businessman David Pritchard on land at 74 Main St. The other was proposed by Northvision, run by Salisbury businessman Wayne Capolupo and his partner, Peter McClary, on land owned by Herman Fortin at 75 Main St.

The sites are literally across the street from each other.

The competition was magnified by a state law prohibiting two electronic billboards within 1,000 feet of each other, which these would be. Billboards require permits from state and local authorities.

The board heard both cases June 24, 2014. Although the board could have approved both and allowed the state Department on Outdoor Advertising to choose the winner, the members voted unanimously to give the permit to Northvision.

But the vote to deny Clear Channel's proposal was a split decision: Susan Pawlisheck and Derek DePetrillo voted to give Clear Channel and Pritchard a permit, but Ed Hunt and Kevin Henderson did not.

Complaints rose quickly because Hunt is Fortin's cousin and Henderson works for Capolupo in his heavy construction business, SPS New England. Through attorney Peter Flynn, Clear Channel and Pritchard appealed the decision to Superior Court within weeks, citing a conflict of interest.

Attorneys for Northvision filed a motion to dismiss, which the judge denied. A trial date of July 24 is scheduled.

On Wednesday, Flynn filed a civil rights lawsuit in Superior Court against Henderson, Hunt and Town Manager Neil Harrington.

The details in the lawsuit appear to have been gathered from comments made by Hunt and Henderson during their depositions from the initial court appeal of the zoning decision.

Clear Channel and Pritchard claim their state and federal constitutional rights were violated regarding their "rights to use and enjoy" their property. They also claim denial of due consideration for their zoning relief case before the board, denial of due process of law, and denial of equal protection under the law.

In the civil rights lawsuit, Flynn claims that neither Hunt nor Henderson objectively followed due process by considering the benefits of one billboard proposal over another as they related to height, proximity to residences or the highway.

Instead, the lawsuit claims, both men said they voted for Northvision and not Clear Channel because they felt the final decision "should be made locally and should not be left to state officials."

"An important factor in Mr. Hunt's votes was that he disagrees with the law of this jurisdiction holding that, in the event that a local municipality grants two special permits for electronic billboards within 1,000 feet of each other, the Commonwealth may then only approve one such applicant for a state permit," according to the lawsuit.

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that both men voted for Northvision for reasons other than those that were criteria for the decision in accordance with proper zoning board procedure.

The lawsuit claims both men should have recused themselves from voting because of their relationship with the parties involved with Northvision - Henderson because Capolopo was his boss, and Hunt because Fortin is a cousin who would benefit financially from the billboard.

Harrington is included in the lawsuit because he didn't stop Henderson - a zoning board member he appointed  - from participating in the panel's deliberations on the grounds that Harrington knew Henderson was Capolupo's employee.

When contacted Thursday, Harrington said he was unaware of the lawsuit. Harrington said he could not comment on pending legal action.
Spider-Man: Homecoming Just Stepped Up Its Billboard Game
By Adam Barnhardt
June 12, 2017

We're under one month from the premiere of Peter Parker's firsts solo flick set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Take that timeframe, add in a little Spidey, and the result is Sony hopping into marketing overdrive.
In partnership with Marvel Studios, Sony has released a handful of trailers, some viral marketing featuring NBA legends Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan, and a poster that took the internet by storm for all the wrong reasons.

Now, thanks to an eagle-eyed Spider-Man fan, we see one of the first billboards the studio is using to promote Spider-Man: Homecoming and it's all sorts of badass.

Posted on the Marvel Studios subreddit by /u/ItsMinjo, the billboard is printed with a light blue color in the middle which, when combined with the sunny sky, appears to break the billboard in half. Have no worries though, passersby. The movie's titular character is seen smack dab in the middle "holding" the two sides of the billboard together with his trademark webbing.

The billboard takes a page from a scene straight out of the movie, when Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is holding together the two halves of a ferry that Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his cronies destroyed.

With some of the coolest movie marketing we've seen - at least since the psychedelic signage we saw with Doctor Strange - it's sure to drive more people to theatre. It's not like the movie needs it anyway, it's Spider-Man's first solo flick in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for Pete's sake.

Fleming's Feed Proposes Digital Billboard for Route 1 in Stonington
By Joe Wojtas
June 13, 2017

Stonington, CT - The owners of Fleming's Feed on Route 1 are seeking a zoning variance from the town so they can tear down three traditional billboards and replace them with a much smaller, two-sided, digitally lit billboard.

The town's zoning regulations, though, prohibit full internal illumination of a sign and ban signs that "use a technology capable of displaying digital, variable, or alternating messages and copy generated by any electronic mechanical or illuminated means." Under the existing regulations, the proposed digital sign would not be allowed. Similar signs, although larger, can be seen along Interstate 91 in Hartford.

To obtain a variance, Peter Fleming and Scott Nye will have to prove to the Zoning Board of Appeals at a July 11 public hearing that they have a legal hardship.

If they obtain ZBA approval, they then will need planning approval from the town.

The proposed sign, which would sit atop a 9-foot-tall pole, would be 180 square feet compared to the 900 square feet that exists now. The application states that the existing billboards partially are located in the state right-of-way for Route 1 but the new sign would be located entirely on Fleming's Feed property and be more consistent with setback requirements. In addition, it would meet flood hazard regulations.

According to the application, the removal of the existing billboards and location of the new billboard would improve site distances from the entrance and exit to the building.

The application also points out that the advertising would be changed remotely instead of a crew changing the sign manually in the state right-of-way, further improving safety.

Finally, the application states that local police and fire departments could post emergency announcements such as Amber and Silver alerts on the billboard, as well as accident and storm information, creating a public safety benefit to the town at no cost.