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I was reading an article about Billboards in Automobile Magazine.  It was a fast facts type of article.
Since I can’t find a link to it online I’ll post the bullets here from the April 2010 issue, page 22.

  • In 1889, the twenty-four-sheet billboard was introduced.
  • Today, most billboards are one sheet of vinyl or polyethylene.
  • The most common size is 14 by 48 feet.
  • Six to eight advertisers can share a single digital billboard; the messages change every eight seconds or so.
  • Four states ban billboards: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont

I found in my research a couple websites that said Vermont experienced a 50% rise in tourism spending in the first two years it became billboard free.  I thought that was REALLY interesting.

Courts across the nation have held that billboards may be prohibited or regulated principally because they gain their value from the proximity to taxpayer-funded roads and are, fundamentally, a use of the public right-of-way.

  • The nonprofit organization Scenic America seeks to limit billboards
  • The Outdoor Advertising Association of America is the billboard industry’s primary trade group.

    Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn Billboard ~ I think these are a work of art!!

  • Thousands of American barns have been painted to function as billboards, most often by Mail Pouch Tobacco – and about 4000 of those were first painted (and frequently retouched) by one man, Harley Warrick.  Farmers were paid a token sum, but the real value was the free paint job.  The sides of the barn that didn’t face the road would be painted a color of the farmer’s choice.

    Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn Billboard ~ I think these are a work of art!!

  • The 1965 Highway Beautification Act, championed by Lady Bird Johnson, was supposed to regulated billboards, but the Act is considered ineffectual.
  • Although no definitive count exists, it’s estimated that nearly half a million billboards line federally funded highways alone.
  • Times Square properties often sit empty, but owners hardly fret; billboards bring in the real money.

    Times Square Billboards

According to www.oaaa.org

  • 5.5 billion spent on outdoor ads
    • 62% billboards
    • 15% street furniture
    • 19% transit
    • 4% alternative
How often do you read billboards?  Do you pay attention to them?
I find personally that I notice them when they say something along the lines of  “Coach outlet exit is in 1 mile” or something like that if I’m on my way somewhere, but other than that I don’t pay too much attention unless they’re completely ridiculous!
What are your thoughts?  Do you think it’s an effective way of advertising?
Please comment and subscribe 🙂

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