A bill against digital and illuminated advertising
Last February, ecologist MP Delphine Batho presented a bill to ban all forms of digital and illuminated advertising in public spaces.
This bill risks drastically restricting the freedom to advertise and, although we are aware of the importance of the issues related to ecological transition and the evolution of consumption patterns, the radical nature of these bans worries us.
Too radical a bill
The following extract from the proposed law summarizes the whole issue put forward by Delphine Batho:
“Digital advertising screens are increasingly present in public space and in our visual space. Their use constitutes a new stage in the advertising invasion, which comes on top of the illuminated advertising whose installations in public spaces have multiplied in recent years. This development of digital and illuminated advertising is not compatible with the imperatives linked to ecological emergencies, the protection of public health and the quality of urban landscapes.”
As we have stated above, Charvet Digital Media is aware of the various issues mentioned by the member but we defend that a complete ban on “any form of digital advertising in public space” is a disproportionate measure.
The files which must be submitted to the city in order to validate the installation of digital screens, combined with the establishment of new standards aimed at reducing energy consumption and visual pollution, should allow sufficient regulation.
“Before banning”, promote regulation
Regulation, yes! Banning, no. On social networks, the hashtag “#avantdinterdire” (#beforebanning) has grown and the various unions are uniting to make it clear that there are many alternatives before passing a law that could jeopardize many companies.
For example, the bill mentions in particular the fact that “there is no legislative provision that allows the regulation of digital advertising installed in store windows and visible from public space.” Obviously, it is important that laws are passed to allow control and regulation of these screens placed inside store windows if they are visible from public space. That said, a total ban is absolutely not necessary in order to avoid all the problems mentioned by the member: <i>before banning</i>, let’s regulate!
The growth in the number of digital screens: what consequences?
The member first presents the figures for the very strong growth in the number of digital screens in the public space of various large French cities before mentioning the consequences linked to this growth.
According to her, “the growing presence in the public space of these digital and illuminated advertising screens must imperatively be called into question” for various reasons which we will take up one by one.
The ecological argument and low consumption screens
For ecological and energy reasons: “digital advertising screens are the source of avoidable energy waste”. Indeed, giant advertising screens can be a source of significant energy consumption! However, the new technologies that we have available today allow us to reduce it drastically.
The figures presented by the member when she argues that “a digital panel of two square meters consumes 7,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of a household with a child” are no longer quite in line with the current reality of the market.
At Charvet Digital Media we are aware of the ecological problem and try to provide the best solutions. Today, our LED screens allow an annual consumption well below the 7000 kWh displayed in this bill. In reality, the projects carried out by our teams consume rather between 2,500 and 3,300 kWh per year.
Against visual pollution? Turn off screens at the right times
The Member’s second argument is that of visual pollution and the consequences of it, she says: “Digital ads and illuminated ads are also the source of significant light pollution. The artificial light they produce disrupts the alternation of day and night in ecosystems.“
Visual pollution is a problem that can easily be solved. First of all, we would like to remind you that when we sell a panel to the commercial sector, Charvet Digital Media has an obligation to submit a file to the city. This verification carried out by the city should ensure that the location and the conditions of installation of the screen will not cause too much visual pollution.
Also, digital screens do not need to be constantly turned on and a significant portion of the really problematic visual pollution can be avoided by setting up thoughtful schedules. New technologies and the development of connected screens make this type of device extremely easy to set up.
The bill has not yet been passed and part of the government already believes that this total ban would not respect “the principles of freedom of expression, freedom of trade and industry and the proper exercise of the activity of economic operators in the outdoor advertising sector”.
We are awaiting the decision of the National Assembly, hoping that the total ban will not take place, to be continued!