Thursday, December 18, 2014

Despite objections, digital ads may be coming to a newsstand near you

Council on Wednesday moved closer to allowing street-level newsstands to display large digital advertisements.

Despite objections, digital ads may be coming to a newsstand near you

Council on Wednesday moved closer to allowing street-level newsstands to display large digital advertisements.

Over objections from neighborhood activists, the Streets Committee advanced a bill that would let newsstand owners display the ads if they pay the city a 7 percent excise tax.

Some residents in Center City, where much of the advertising would be, said the bill could change the nature of their neighborhood.

Philadelphia is a historic city; it s a romantic city, said David Rose, who lives and owns a business in Center City. All of a sudden it s being transformed into a Las Vegas-like, Times Square atmosphere. You re changing the character of the community. More than two-dozen newsstand owners attended the meeting to support the bill, introduced by Councilman Bill Greenlee.

With newspaper and magazine sales declining, the owners said they could use the additional revenue to keep their businesses going.

Greenlee said the bill will also help the city's bottom line, although only "a little bit."

He added that the signs could improve safety at night.

This bill will add some vitality to some blocks particularly in Center City, particularly after the normal business hours that are rather dark and uninviting, Greenlee said.

Regulations on how bright the signs can be are still being debated. Council could take up the bill as early as next week.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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