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Billboard Insider
By Staff Writer
November 17, 2016

Yesterday AdQuick.com launched an online marketplace for buying and selling out of home advertising.  The AdQuick founding team is made up of Silicon Valley techies. Insider interviewed AdQuick's co-founder and CEO Matt O'Connor about the company.  Prior to founding AdQuick, O'Connor worked for Amazon and Instacart. The founding team comes from Yammer/Microsoft, McKinsey, and Breeze. Matt has a BA from Notre Dame and an MBA from University of Virginia's Darden School.
Matt, how did you get involved with the outdoor industry?

I first encountered the outdoor space in 2010 when I wanted to buy an ad for a start-up I was working on. The time and number of phone calls and emails it took to get inventory information really surprised me. Five years later in 2015, while working on the Instacart expansion team, we encountered similar problems in the tedious process of finding available inventory. Because of this, we ended up spending it on digital ads instead of OOH, because that channel was easier to execute and had great analytics to track performance.

So, I decided to start AdQuick to help provide a solution to those issues.

How is the system for automated buying of out of home broken and how does AdQuick provide a fix?

The OOH industry lacks visibility into availability. This deters many companies, especially fast-moving startups, from even considering outdoor as part of their campaigns. By giving these companies visibility into their options, we will bring new types of companies into the outdoor advertising fore.
We've also built an analytics dashboard that uses geo-based data from surveys and other third party data to give marketers (and operators) metrics to measure the impact that the OOH campaign created. This will encourage more businesses to try OOH and keep them coming back once they see the quantified results.

What benefits does AdQuick provide for outdoor advertising companies?

The main benefit will be that AdQuick will drive them new business. Because we're free, there's no downside for OOH companies to join AdQuick.

Some other benefits include search engine optimization, online transaction processing, automated lead generation, metrics from their clients' campaigns and very positive end customer experience. 

What can an outdoor company do if they wish to learn more about your product?  
AdQuick wants to work with outdoor companies of all geographies and sizes. Our goal is to drive new customers to their faces and we has developed an automated demand generation program we can run focused on specific locations.

Adams Outdoor Partners with AdMobilize to Explore Vehicle Data
Sign & Digital Graphics
By Staff Writer
November 9, 2016

Miami-based AdMobilize, developers of an app that provides real-time analytics on both vehicle and pedestrian traffic for out-of-home media companies and retailers, is partnering with Roswell, Georgia-based Adams + Fairway Outdoor Advertising, an out-of-home advertising company.

The companies are teaming up to test real-time vehicle data and analytics for digital billboards across selected U.S. markets.
AdMobilize has developed a scalable vehicle detection technology that provides real-time data on traffic counts, speed, make and model of vehicle, etc. Adams Outdoor has more than 26,000 billboards that serve some of the largest advertisers in the nation. The point of the partnership is to connect those advertisers with that real-time data AdMobilize will gather.

"This technology provides many new opportunities for agencies/brands to truly take advantage of the outdoor medium with real-time, verifiable data directly from the billboard," says Mike Neel, vice president of sales and marketing for AdMobilize.

AdMobilize technology currently runs in 17 countries and licenses vehicle detection to clients in Brazil, Peru, Chile, UK and the United States.

St. Matthews to Consider Billboard Moratorium
By Martha Elson
November 18, 2016
Louisville, KY-In a sign of the times, electronic message signs and billboards with changing texts and graphics have become a popular way to advertise everything from church and school events to fast food restaurants and the weather.

When St. Matthews recently got a sign company's request to erect an electronic message billboard along Sherburn Lane that would be visible from I-264 behind Mall St. Matthews, city sign officer Jack Ruf and attorney John Singler discovered the City Council didn't have any clear guildelines to help make a decision.

As it turned out, the company withdrew the request after deciding the site wasn't viable for what it had in mind, Ruf said.  But Tuesday the council is expected  to temporarily ban billboards, at least until the end of the year, to give the city time to draft a policy on electronic billboards.  The council will meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 3940 Grandview Ave.

Changing-message signs have been criticized as distractions for drivers. Among factors to consider would be the sign's brightness in the daytime versus nighttime, how long a message would stay up and how close the sign could be to residents or businesses.

It's a new "medium that was not anticipated" in the sign code, Ruf said.  While it's been updated in some ways in recent years, and much smaller electronic message signs are allowed, "It's not that much different from what we've had for decades," he said.

By St. Matthews' definition, a billboard is a large "off-premise" sign of about 642 square feet (or roughly 25'x25') that's not on the premises of a business or other entity it's advertising, Ruf said.  Large "on-premise" signs are simply considered signs, he said.

A cross between the two is illustrated by an electronic billboard put up in 2010 on state property at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center put up by OUTFRONT Media that can be seen from I-65.  It has a smaller message board on top that advertises events at the fairgrounds and a larger one below that is rented out for advertising to other businesses -- such as McDonald's recently.

The use and placement of such billboards are "highly regulated by the state, but the state fair board does have a permit for that sign," exposition spokeswoman Amanda Storment said.

But they are "permitted in certain areas if standards are met," said Naitore Djigbenou, a deputy public relations director for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, in an email.  Electronic billboards also must be compliant with local ordinances or regulations and are prohibited in certain circumstances.  Under Kentucky law, "an electronic advertising device visible from the main traveled way on an interstate, parkway, national highway system or federal-aid primary highway shall be prohibitied in a protected area unless the device is located in an urban" or urbanized area.

The Louisville Land Development Code does not describe changing message signs specifically but allows both illuminated and non-illuminated "Off-premise Signage (Outdoor Advertising Signs" with restrictions related to size, setbacks, zoning districts, proximity to other billboards and other factors.  Outdoor advertising signs greater than 750 square feet are not allowed in any district, and a note says that outdoor advertising signs are prohibited in the city of Middletown.

"Digital is the way to go," said Lester LeMaster with Commonwealth Sign Co. on Berry Boulevard in Louisville.  His company does only on-premise signs, including a new, large, electronic message one at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., south of Bowling Green that's pictured on the company's website.

Some people think they're "tacky and ugly,"  LeMaster said.  But he cites a study that says that ones with an 8-second hold time are no more distracting than other traditional signs and says distractions are different for different people.

But the big digital signs are expensive -- $400,000 for the one at Kentucky Downs, for instance -- and getting a financial return may take several years, he said.  "They're a huge investment."

Much smaller electronic message signs -- also called outdoor LED signs -- have been allowed for a number of years in St. Matthews and have become common at churches and schools -- including Trinity High on Shelbyville Road, St. Matthews Elementary on Brownsboro Lane and Beargrass Christian Church at Brownsboro and Shelbyville -- and other sites.

The smaller signs were somewhat controversial at first, with questions raised about whether they would distract drivers or annoy neighbors.  St. Matthews Elementary was required in 2009 to modify its new "light-emitting" sign that was donated to the school by an orthodontics practice so that it no longer flashed or scrolled, and the message changed only once a day.  A resident across the street had complained that it "totally disrupts the serenity of the neighborhood," calling it "garish."

In 2010, Hurstbourne passed a "Changing Image Signs" ordinance prohibiting "any sign using a video or light emitting device display method, which changes its message or background by means of electrical, kinetic, solar or mechanical energy."  Static messages produced by the same means also were not allowed.

The city acted after Hurstbourne Christian Church on Nottingham Parkway put up an electronic message sign.  The church was allowed to keep the sign, but its message could change only every 20 seconds.

Mississippi State puts up Billboards in Washington, D.C., for Former Bulldogs DE Preston Smith
SEC Country
By Andrew Astleford
November 13, 2016

Preston Smith is big in Washington, D.C.

How big? Billboard big.
Thanks to a campaign from Mississippi State called #FromStateToSundays, billboards featuring former Bulldogs defensive end Preston Smith were seen throughout the District on Sunday. Smith is in his second year with the Washington Redskins, and the former second-round pick should gain a little more face recognition after this move.

The timing of the campaign was excellent. On Sunday, Smith had four tackles with two sacks and an interception as part of the Redskins' 26-20 victory against the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.
This is a great way for schools to provide a hat tip to their NFL talent, right?
Kudos to Mississippi State for the idea. Smith also deserves recognition for backing up the billboard commitment with his big-time play.