Monday, April 9 - Ads On OC Beach Equipment Unlikely
OCEAN CITY - At a meeting with the Beach Mediation Board this week and the Mayor and City Council, members from both sides took the time to hash out what few problems they foresaw for the coming summer season.
Members of the Beach Mediation Board said problems with beach vendors has declined over the years and they don't believe there will be any major disputes this year.
However, a proposal by Randy McCreary, the president of SANDaddy Media Services, on March 5 stirred up discussion on the always-popular topic of selling advertising space on the beach.
McCreary had proposed to work with beach vendors who rent umbrellas and chairs to beach-goers in an attempt to place advertisements on these items. For the chairs, simple ads would be placed on the back.. As for the umbrellas, they would have an eight-panel top with four of the panels having space for ads. However, if a more elaborate advertisement requiring more space is needed it can be done for a premium price.
The ads themselves could range from nationally known products like Coke and Pepsi, McCreary had said, to locally owned businesses and would not be allowed to display anything dealing with tobacco products, alcohol or pornographic material.
The board was not in favor of the advertising but did want to take a look at the proposal from the vendors' point of view.
Council President Joe Mitrecic said he maybe received one e-mail that was for the approval of beach advertising as opposed to the bounty of them against it. Councilwoman Margaret Pillas said she received similar results.
Fellow Councilman Jim Hall pointed out a problem he saw and said when it comes to advertising it's a whole other game since you have to look at what is being put on these umbrellas.
'I think we always worry about what we are going to allow,' he said. 'Once you go down that road then you have to have someone to monitor all the umbrellas. We try to keep the beach a pristine place so we've not gone down that road.'
City Clerk Carol Jacobs pointed out another problem that would arise with advertising on umbrellas. Since the vendors use different colors to mark their parcels, the inclusion of advertising would take away that color scheme and the preset distinction they have already established.'With thousands and thousands of umbrellas out there, I think visual pollution is what everyone is concerned about,' Mayor Rick Meehan said.