November 19, 2019 – The Town of Bolton, Connecticut, has become the fifth municipality in the state to enter into a contract with Nucleus Augmented Reality (Nucleus AR), a Connecticut based firm that helps municipalities and property owners regulate augmented reality advertising content that can appear in local spaces and on privately owned buildings – something that the company states is not always disclosed to owners by advertising networks, which often do not reach out on their own to give fair compensation for advertising in the AR space.
At the Bolton Board of Selectmen Regular Meeting held last week, the Board voted unanimously that the Town of Bolton enter into a contract with Nucleus AR for it to act as an agent for the Town. The contract would involve Nucleus AR providing agency services, primarily in relation to the negotiation of appropriate AR advertising, marketing, and media contracts, wherein the company will work to negotiate the best possible compensation for the use of town property for AR purposes.
The proposed agreement will see Nucleus AR act as the Town’s agent for all AR-related advertising, wherein the company will search for, analyze, recommend and negotiate appropriate AR advertising, marketing and media contracts, as well as negotiate the best possible compensation for the use of the Town’s property for AR purposes. Nucleus AR will also provide the Town with the opportunity to approve the types of advertisements that are allowed to be shown, thus reducing the risk of inappropriate adverts being displayed in unwanted places. For example, the displaying of adverts for E-cigarettes at a local school sports day.
According to local publication, The Journal Inquirer, Nucleus Augmented Reality Founder, Adam Reiser, commented: “One of the things that we want to make sure of is towns don’t have issues where ads for Bud Light are popping up at the high school football fields.” He added, “We’re here to step in and work on behalf of our client towns to make sure that doesn’t happen by negotiating with these larger tech companies like Google, Facebook, Snapchat, and whatever else is in the AR (augmented reality) networking space.”
Through the agreement, Nucleus AR is calling for a commission-based payment to be made to it on all AR contracts that the Town receives (whether or not Nucleus AR itself negotiated the contracts, as long as they were entered into by Bolton during the term of the agreement). However, either party may cancel the agreement at any time for any reason, providing a notice period is given.
Several members of the Board of Selectmen raised questions, with some expressing their surprise at the ability of companies to advertise in this manner. After discussion, a motion for the Town of Bolton to enter into a contract with Nucleus AR passed 4:0:0.
With AR still seemingly in its infancy in terms of mass consumer adoption, agreements such as this one are helping local municipalities and councils get ahead of the curb, and are helping them to have a plan in place to help control the types of advertising campaigns that could potentially be taking place in their local augmented space – campaigns that Town leaders themselves may not have otherwise been aware of. Furthermore, companies such as Nucleus AR are aiding Towns to acquire additional advertising revenues from royalties that they may have otherwise not seen if advertising agencies were to not come forward to disclose campaigns taking place in the surrounding augmented spaces.
Town Administrator Joshua Kelly, who supported the idea, said: “There’s really a power in having all these municipalities come to the table under one banner … The companies will be much more likely to sit down and talk with you [Reiser] on any given day since you represent so many in the state, as opposed to each individual town.”
Nucleus Augmented Reality is currently working with several municipalities in Connecticut, including Coventry, New London, and Plainville, with the company having also entered into a contract with Ellington earlier this month.
Image credit: Nucleus Augmented Reality