Digital Billboards: The Ugly Truth

Deadly distractions. Clogged roadways. Offensive messages. Ruined landscapes. This is LA’s new normal if we don't act now. 

About Digital Billboards

Palm trees, sandy beaches and the sparkling Pacific Ocean — they’re beautiful and iconic, as essential to the identity of Los Angeles as movie stars and dreamers. But they’re in jeopardy. The threat: digital billboards. 

A handful of outdoor advertising companies are quietly moving to plaster our most scenic neighborhoods with digital signs. Flashing, garish and often bearing messages unsuitable for children’s eyes, these hulking eyesores change every four to eight seconds, 24 hours a day, rain or shine. This will be the view from your front window.

But the harm goes beyond aesthetics. They’re a deadly distraction to drivers. The dangerous curve near your kid’s school will become even more treacherous. If you think people blow through stop signs with alarming frequency now, just imagine how bad the problem will be with flashing signs diverting their attention. 

What’s more, these signs are an ecological menace. They consume giant amounts of energy. They destroy natural habitats where wildlife previously thrived. 

Digital billboards are a threat to our lives and our environment. And yet, the Los Angeles City Council has before it a one-sided deal that would allow the largely unregulated proliferation of these signs. This proposal would allow outdoor advertisers to remove an analog billboard in exchange for erecting a digital one — without consideration for the billboard’s location or other factors critical for preserving our communities. In a sense, it would turn West LA into the Wild West for outdoor advertising.

We will not let this happen.


Who We Are


Ad Zero is a coalition of Los Angeles residents, parents, property owners and other concerned citizens committed to maintaining the beauty and security of our communities and the safety of our highways. We are advocates for the fair and reasonable regulation of the billboard and outdoor advertising industry.

Our mission is to shed light on these signs: the processes by which they’re approved, the backroom dealings, the unexpected impacts. By informing and engaging residents and all of those who care about Los Angeles — its environment, historic preservation, traffic safety, congestion and encroaching commercialization — we are a powerful group that commands the city council’s attention and effect policy change.

What We Do

We welcome everyone interested in developing a regulatory approach that looks at the myriad direct and indirect impacts that these signs — particularly digital billboards — have on our community, traffic, environment, beauty and livability of Los Angeles.

We are taking the city council and sign companies to task, demanding answers to these essential questions before a single new digital billboard is approved:

  • Shouldn’t we conduct thorough studies investigating the potential impact on traffic? 
  • Shouldn’t these signs pass a set of safety standards before they’re erected?
  • Shouldn’t there be limits on how much energy they can consume?
  • Shouldn’t safeguards be in place to reduce light pollution?
  • Shouldn’t they be proved, beyond any doubt, that they pose no threat to our wildlife? 

We’re energized. 

We’re committed. 

We’re ready to fight.

LA Voters Oppose Digital Billboards, According to Poll

An overwhelming majority of Angelenos want the Los Angeles City Council to address safety concerns and protect neighborhoods when it comes to permitting new digital billboards in the city, according to a new poll conducted by John Zogby Strategies.

Send a Message to LA City Council

The Los Angeles City Council is considering allowing the proliferation of unregulated, dangerous digital billboards through the Digital Billboard Giveaway Act (Council File 11-1705).

It's vitally important that LA residents take a stand and make their opposition heard.

Use our easy email creation tool and pick from prewritten paragraphs (or create your own) and instantly send an email to the LA City Council encouraging them to vote NO on Council File 11-1705. 


Help us spread the message: 

Tell your followers to #FightLABlight.

"I think that I shall never see 

a poem as lovely as tree 

indeed unless the billboards fall 

I may not see a tree at all 

— and the battle began."