Digital Signage – and the problems of Vandalism

Digital signage is a fast growing industry. However, its success, rooted in its ability to display messages to large audiences and being more attractive and engaging to passers-by is also one of the reasons why this new medium is developing some controversy.

Not everyone is a fan of digital signage and it has even seen some quite militant opposition to it. In the Paris Metro, plans have been underway for a mass digital signage campaign since 2009.

However, when the company responsible for installing the screens, placed four test devices in the Metro which were immediately vandalised – partly by anti-advertising campaigners who object to the signs on grounds of civil liberties.

Plans are still underway to place the digital screens in the Paris Metro, however, with the threat of constant vandalism, they may well find the project will never get off the ground properly or have a hope of achieving a return on investment – especially if the displays are continually getting vandalised.

Vandalism as a General Problem

Vandalism is common problems for digital displays in public areas, particularly outdoor digital signage and screens left unattended.

Vandalism causes a double whammy when it comes to getting back a return on your investment. Not only does it often lead to having to replace the signage display, provoking extra cost, but also when the display is out of commission it is not generating awareness.

Protecting against Vandalism

Vandalism protection is therefore essential for many digital advertising applications – especially outdoor digital signage.

There are two areas that protection should be centred around:

• Protecting the screen
• Protecting the display device

Screen protection requires some sort of shatterproof screen across the actual LCD or plasma screen. This should prevent the smashing of the screen – perhaps the most vulnerable area of a modern flatscreen device.

The entire LCD TV (or plasma) – if vulnerable to damage by vandals – also needs protection. A steel LCD enclosure or other digital signage enclosure should be considered ensuring the entire device (including media player) can be totally protected from vandalism.

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