It’s probably a moot point whether the standards for digital out of home should be higher than for traditional out of home (or any other sort of media for that matter) but the point, oft forgotten we feel, is that the technology allows for HIGHER standards.What to think then as we acted as a Reggie Powered Audit Commission  on Monday visiting the majority of London’s high profile, roadside digital billboards?
There are at least 54 separate roadside digital billboard installations in London and with some of them having many ‘display faces’ (especially those owned by Ocean Outdoor) and several that have more than one screen at a locale, there are over 70 separate LEDs.
On Tuesday three of those were in trouble: –
- The Hogarth Experience  was off as we travelled past it at 07:30 on Monday morning (though it was back on running a FOR SALE / TO LET sign for the office venue that it is located in later, as we drove home in the evening)
- The eastbound screen of the very recently launched Ocean Outdoors’ Two Towers East  had a couple of LED Modules out which meant an unsightly black spot on the north tower of the Eastbound face (see picture to the right)
- Primesight, who again, only recently converted its Cheyne Walk site in central London to a digital format  were having trouble with the eastbound screen as it was simply displaying a white static screen (i.e. on but no image)
Let’s just say that we also saw several vinyl posters attached to billboards from the big OOH folks (literally) blowing in the wind (therefore being ineffective) and a couple of torn posters as well.
On Tuesday, we saw with our own eyes exactly 32 of the 70+ LEDs in London. Is 3 / 32 not working (or not working fully) acceptable to our industry?
Note: Not visible to the naked eye of course but interesting to note that three software companies powered the majority of the digital billboards we saw; Scala, BroadSign and signagelive with the odd billboard still running some antiquated piece of bespoke software.