Misconceptions about electronic displays persists
By Bill Dundas
The 2015 landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court in Reed v. Town of Gilbert incorporates a substantial amount of language useful to sign-industry advocates. While this case involved temporary signage and First Amendment rights, a broader reading of the ruling suggests that regulation of all types of signage ought to be based on something more substantial than local or state officials’ knee-jerk impressions. Thus, as stated in the high court’s majority opinion, the Town of Gilbert failed to establish that “the restriction furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.”
This opinion strongly supports an evidence-based approach to regulating all types of signage, including outdoor, digital signs. Conversely, when regulations are based on suppositions rather than empirical evidence, the legitimate rights of sign users may sometimes be ignored. Some common and persistent myths about digital signage have contributed greatly to these circumstances.
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