Installation of an advertising screen: useful regulations to know before starting

30 June 2023

Regulation can have an unsuspected influence on the introduction of new products or services for companies, such as the installation of an advertising screen. It sometimes forces them to incur additional costs or face technical or technological challenges to stay in compliance with the law. This problem is even more important in regions where regulations are strict, like Europe in general and France in particular.

The advertising screen is an example of a communication lever subject to relatively strong legal constraints. The latter aim, among other things, to frame the impact of these displays on individuals with the aim of preserving societal well-being. But it would not be surprising if they were reinforced in the short or medium term, under the impetus of ecological ambitions which could concern energy consumption and light pollution, or even the management of waste resulting from the activity of advertising screens. .

Discover in this article all the useful regulations to know before investing in advertising screens!

What is an advertising screen?

The question seems trivial, but it is nevertheless decisive, because the definition of an advertising screen allows companies to know from when they are concerned by the regulations relating to this type of display.

According to the official website of the French administration:

This concerns all external supports (billboards for example), luminous or not, which may contain an advertisement (inscription, form or image), intended to inform the public or to attract its attention and visible from a public road or private, open to public circulation”[1].

Suffice to say that advertising screens encompass a very wide perimeter of displays. Any company with development prospects and wishing to invest in this communication lever is very quickly confronted with regulations on advertising screens.

However, the laws governing their use are becoming more and more restrictive. How to explain this trend?

The impact of environmental and social preservation goals

We must consider the increase in social and environmental concerns to understand the evolution of regulations relating to advertising screens.

But for a company, the challenge is not only to respect the legal framework.

It is also about having an activity that is in line with the concerns of our time, because companies are increasingly evaluated and chosen according to their efforts to avoid having a harmful impact on their ecosystems.

This is what they put in place through their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies in which all the company’s stakeholders are interested: customers, suppliers, financial or technological partners, employees, etc.

How are advertising screen regulations designed to protect the environment and society?

First, by ensuring the safety of users on public roads. The laws in France are moreover, at this level, even stricter than in other European countries.

The regulations are such that it is now unthinkable to have urban landscapes in France mostly occupied by outdoor screens, as is the case in Asia or the United States.

There are format limitations. In addition, trucks projecting videos on public roads are prohibited, which further reduces the volume of displays in French public space.

Regulations can also correspond to safety instructions that reduce or complicate the possibilities of placing advertising screens.

Businesses should ensure that they choose a compliant display mounting location, and consider the weight of the display or mounting hardware to avoid accidents.

The rules to follow when installing advertising screens

In general, the regulations relating to advertising screens are based on the size of the agglomeration and of the screen, the place of display and the context of use.

  • It is only possible to install a light screen in settlements with more than 10,000 inhabitants. Outside, it can be installed near a train station, an airport, a sports complex with more than 15,000 seats or a shopping center.
  • The surface of the advertising screen is limited to 8 m². It cannot be positioned more than 6 meters from the ground. But for places with large flows of people such as airports exceeding 3 million passengers each year, the surface of the screen can be up to 50 m², and it can be hoisted up to 10 meters from the ground.

But in the language as in the legislation, France is the country of exceptions! The first special cases are notable for sign displays.

Indeed, the regulations differ when the advertising screens are used to broadcast only information from the businesses present in the building. A sign screen can then cover 15% of the facade, and up to 25% for surfaces of less than 50 m².

There are also types of displays that are not affected by the regulations on signs and outdoor advertising, because they are installed indoors – although visible outdoors -: window screens.

They thus constitute a solution for circumventing these laws. That said, they do not have complete freedom, because the size of the window limits the maximum size of advertising screens and their placement possibilities.

The local regulations, the last decision maker


All these binding regulations are however subject to the specificities of the local regulations. Because it is the town halls (and other territorial organizations) that have the last word on the application of these laws. They can decide to adjust or strengthen them.

In the majority of situations, laws amended by local by-law impose greater restrictions in order to preserve the setting of the location where the displays are installed.

This is for example the case of environments with a strong cultural or historical imprint, considered as real heritage, and whose territorial organizations seek to preserve the naturalness and authenticity.

Advertising screens represent a development lever for companies wishing to effectively submit messages to their audiences. However, in a country with regulations as restrictive as France, it is essential for them to know the legal framework before embarking on their projects. Screen size, location... The regulations on advertising screens aim in particular to preserve society. By respecting them, companies can not only have an activity that complies with the legal framework, but also show their audiences that they are concerned about their impact on the environment and individuals. [1] Source:

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