Electronic billboards and you.

The e-mail came through the neighborhood mailing list:

A 396-square foot electronic billboard has been proposed for Route 35, just east of downtown.

See the article from Tuesday’s Dayton Daily News at


The Dayton Plan Board will have this on its agenda on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m. The meetings are held at City Hall.

I feel this is a bad idea and should be opposed, though I realize others may think differently.  Please make your voice heard.

Then the paper said the meeting has been rescheduled:

The City Plan Board has rescheduled discussion of a proposed electronic billboard along U.S. 35 for Feb. 17.

The meeting was changed because of the cancellation of a Southeast Priority Board meeting, where the project also was to be discussed. That meeting has not been rescheduled.

via City Plan Board reschedules talks on big billboard on U.S. 35.

And then, there is the reality. Like it or not, we need billboards more than ever. And electronic ones are the way to go.

And, no, I’m not talking Times Square- although I’ve often thought that the corner of 5th and Patterson- by the Neon Movies- would be a great place to build a bunch of digital boards and have at it.

With media fragmentation- the proliferation of options for you to spend your time watching, surfing, listening and ignoring- it’s become almost impossible for local businesses to affordably and effectively let you know they are there.

Outdoor is the format that can’t be ignored, from billboards, to bus sides to bus benches, outdoor advertising is unavoidable- and localized. With the digital option, it can even be fast- like, “Obama won, Get your victory T-shirts direct from Tigereye design in Greenville Today!” on November 5th. Or, they can be used for Amber Alerts or even traffic updates, or even evacuation information in case a train derails in Miamisburg again with toxic chemicals.

For those of you who say billboards are ugly- you are making a huge mistake- the billboards don’t have to look like they used to anymore. What you may find ugly is the ads on them. Unfortunately, we can’t legislate good taste in advertising- but, we can make sure the boards don’t look heinous.

Dayton already has stupid rules about no motion on ads, yet- when the Convention Center got an $350,000 electronic display– and the “Cultural Center” on W. Third street got one- they both have motion. Do as I say- not as I do. Shame on you Dayton.

Electronic boards don’t require huge expenses for small businesses for printing, posting or take as long to plan. They can also donate unused space to non-profits- so that puppies don’t die at the pound, or Culture Works meets its fundraising goals. Think about that before you say down with billboards.

The last part of this argument is that the business that is trying to put up this electronic board isn’t some huge multi-conglomerate from out of state- it’s Key Ads– locally owned and operated. They don’t have the same resources to fight city hall that the Clear Channel, Infinity and Lamar companies do. I’ve known and done business with Nick Keyes Jr. for years- and you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy to buy an ad space from.

So before my neighbors all go ballistic over a billboard- just remember, Wal-Mart will always be able to afford a billboard- but your local restaurant, won’t- unless it’s electronic. So, think twice before you say no.

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