George Riddell in front of the Seattle City Council - 2/20/2014
By George Riddell
On Feb 20, I represented AAF Seattle and joined with several dozen Seattle business owners and executives at City Hall to testify in opposition to a City Council proposal that, if passed will impose strict limits on the allowable sizes of on-premise signage. An “on-premise” sign is one which advertises the goods, services or products available on the site where the sign is located. Well-known examples of such signs in Seattle are the giant Nutcracker sign mounted each year by Pacific Northwest Ballet and any number of team player likenesses on Safeco Field and Century Link Field.
To be clear, the proposed ordinance is concerned with controlling new signage, and has made allowances for “grandfathering” of existing signage. However, many businesses rely on the ability to change, modify or rotate signs as needed. And this proposed legislation could eliminate that ability. In addition, as with any advertising, keeping the brand messaging current is key. Yet another reason why businesses need the ability to change their signage. However, the overall impact of the proposed change to the signage ordinance will greatly restrict the ability for businesses to use their own premises to promote, market and advertise their brand, products and services.
Despite the outspoken opposition to this proposal by representatives of many arts organizations, sports teams and even members of the originating City Council committee, Sally Clark, chairperson of the committee (Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency) has forwarded this measure to the full council for a vote on March 20.
AAF Seattle continues its opposition to the measure, and encourages others in the advertising industry to register your opposition with your Seattle City Council representative.