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
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.
thousands and thousands of umbrellas out there, I think visual pollution is
what everyone is concerned about,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.