Let's think twice about digital signs

I was surprised to read in the Aug. 2 edition of the News-Press that the Glendale City Council was proposing to amend city rules to allow digital advertising signs at the Galleria and the Americana. I thought our two mega malls were into classy, upscale ambience. That’s not what we’ll get with digital advertising.

Nothing seems quite as lucrative as advertising these days, but I thought that digital advertising was already thoroughly discredited in Los Angeles, where residents became so repelled by the crass commercialization that this type of signage was causing that the city realized it had to backtrack on ill-advised decisions allowing the liberal use of digitals. I’m sure that the managers of the two Glendale malls have assured the city that their digitals would be in good taste, but taste is a very subjective matter, especially when money is to be made.

Our current City Council members normally exercise good judgment as they guide us through the pitfalls of managing a vibrant city in a constantly changing environment. Hopefully they’ll be able, before it’s too late, to see through the distracting enthusiastic support that are apparently coming from the managers of the Galleria and the Americana. As Glendale competes with our sister cities of Burbank and Pasadena for a bigger share of the L.A. Basin’s retail trade, let’s avoid the pitfalls that would surely come if the malls’ digital sign proposals are adopted.

Gerry Rankin

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