OAB: The Outdoor Advertising Blog

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

UK Star Wars Board Hacked in Anti-Blair Protest

Iraq Photos on Yahoo! News Photos

Detractors Dis Delay Downtown
Using Billboard

HoustonChronicle.com - PAC billboards take aim at DeLay trip

Monday, May 02, 2005

USATODAY.com - Clear Channel sheds concert unit, gives billboards an IPO: "The company said the IPO of the outdoor advertising unit and spinoff of the entertainment unit will result in greater fiscal muscle for future acquisitions, because the separately listed stocks will provide clear valuations of the two businesses."

CC's OOH revenues are up 11% this year, as Outdoor continues to be strong across all national markets...

Los Angeles, Mexico board Causes controversies, Gets Tagged

Liberman broadcasting got more then they bargained for when they launched a new campaign for awareness of their Spanish-language radio broadcast. A Clear Channel 30 sheet with the headline "Los Angeles, Mexico" was intended to raise hackles and build buzz, but the company now finds itself under attack from sensitive Angelenos. The board has now been tagged with an American flag (see picture below swiped from "dummocrats.com"). The taggers were kind enough to not actually damage the sign, and only put a flag over it.

The board is generating tons of buzz in the Anglo community, and likely Hispanic as well. The controversey should die down soon, but Liberman's radio stations should feel the effects for a while. Just another example of how advertising in the public domain is one of the few ways to cause public outrage in today's media scene. Depending on the overall outcome, it may be the best $1200 (or so) Liberaman ever spent. Of course, having the Governor of your state personally ask that you take down the board is probably not what most businesses want!

Billboards Bash Biden in Delaware

From eNewswire:

Billboards, addressed to Senator Joe Biden, have been strategically placed in Delaware to call on him to make the pending re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) gender neutral so that all victims of domestic violence can benefit from the funding. Over 835,000 men report being victims of intimate partner violence annually, this number reflects 36% of all victims, yet the billions of dollars in VAWA funding can only be used for services to help women and children.

More info and pix here

Arag insurance had some excellent units showcasing how billboards can work in relation to their envirornment.

The copy look like some "transparancy" street-art, where the artist makes a sign 'disappear' by mimicing what's behind it, but the twist is that they play to their core business (insurance for damaged property) by creating damaged property where there is none. It's a great trick and got lots of public attention, as well as continuing to circulate around the internet to this date.

These signs were posted in 2004, and created by Dussledorf based Butter

Thursday, August 12, 2004

KOREA: Billboards Written in Only English Against the Law
The current outdoor billboard-related laws require billboards be written in Korean as well if they are written in a foreign language. Korean language scholars including Nam Young-shin and Korean language-related organizations such as the Korean Language Association and the King Sejong Foundation filed the lawsuit.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Billboard Featuring Fake Students Blamed For Crashes

Nextel's board with a 3-D extension of a student using a laptop is being blamed for car crashes in the Cleveland DMA.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Picture of the Week: Bud Bulletin Blankets Beijing. Budweiser is a new but exciting outdoor advertiser in China, and their profile is slated to rise with the purchase of Chinese brewe Harbin.

Big Outdoor Cos. Refuse PETA anti-IAMS bulletin
From PETA's press release: "PETA hoped to have its new anti-Iams billboard displayed in Tampa, but area outdoor advertisers want no part of it. The billboard shows a caged dog with the tagline "This Is Sally. She Suffered for Six Years in a Lab in Iams Experiments." The message refers to an undercover investigation at an Iams contract laboratory where at least 27 dogs were killed, while others died of illnesses that went untreated. A sales representative from Viacom Outdoor said, "[W]e will not accept this creative in any of our Viacom Outdoor markets."

Coca-Cola Replacing Iconic Times Square Sign
The Coca-Cola Company today announces plans to unveil one of the largest digital canvases in the world -- a new three-dimensional, high tech display -- in New York City's Times Square on the evening of July 1. The innovative advertising sculpture measures more than six stories high, and is considered the world's first digital communications portal featuring 32 custom-made convex and concave, high-definition LED screens. Coca-Cola signs have been landmarks in Times Square since 1920 and this interactive display is introduced as both Times Square and the local Coca-Cola bottler in New York celebrate their 100th anniversaries.

Missouri bans sexy billboards along state highways
The Show Me State is cracking down on bawdy billboards. Gov. Bob Holden on Thursday signed a bill banning sexually suggestive billboards that promote strip clubs and other adult businesses. The ban applies within one mile of Missouri highways.

Billboards crowd Mumbai's skyline
Conservationists in the Indian city are wrangling with officials to save their smothered skyline, trying to get hundreds of billboards torn down.

The Maharashtra state government in 1995 declared parts of Mumbai - many with 150-year-old buildings, a legacy of India’s British colonial days - as "heritage" neighbourhoods.

The Mumbai High Court in May ordered the city council to abide by the city’s Heritage Conservation Committee recommendations that protected areas be kept billboard-free.

City authorities say they’ve since pulled down more than 80 billboards. But conservation groups say more than 200 of the giant signs, some of them four storeys tall, still need to go.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Bill banning sexy billboards along Missouri highways goes to governor
Billboards promoting strip clubs and other adult businesses would be banned within one mile of Missouri highways under a bill given final legislative approval Thursday.

Despite some objections about limiting free speech, the bill won House passage, then cleared the Senate, which sent the measure on to Gov. Bob Holden.

The bill would prohibit any new sex-themed billboards and require existing ones to be removed within three years. An adult-oriented businesses located within one mile of a highway could have just two signs -- one showing the name and hours, the other noting it is off-limits to minors.

Proponents called the billboards an especially offensive blight that forces parents in passing motor vehicles to explain to children such phrases as "red hot, totally live nude."

"Television you can turn off, radio you can turn off. ... Billboards are not selective. They're there," said Rep. David Pearce, a Republican.

Salt Lake may limit billboards
Salt Lake council members are considering a sign ordinance today that would allow residents to enjoy more scenic views by limiting the number of billboards allowed in Salt Lake County.

Two alternatives are up for action; one is an outright band and other is the cap-and-replace method. With an outright ban, no new billboards would be displayed, but remaining billboards would be allowed to stay. Under the cap-and-replace method, a maximum billboard limit would be implemented. Billboards could relocate, but the number could not exceed the maximum. Chairman Steve Harmsen of the Salt Lake County Council supports the latter.

" I am more inclined to cap and replace," Harmsen said. "It has better results; it disperses billboards throughout the community."

Harmsen said billboards serve a useful purpose in the city, thus making an outright ban ineffective.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Lost and Found: Billboard Project

The Chicago Area Billboard project is the result of artists Jennifer Chrzanowski, Jon Gitelson, Brea Murphy, Bryan Steiff, and Brian Ulrich. The 5 (collectively known as Lost and Found) worked collaboratively in a class taught by Accra Shepp. In conjunction with the Columbia College Office of Community Arts Partnership, the group secured a donation from Viacom Outdoor of 60 billboards in the Chicago area. OCAP also organized working with students from the Academy of Communications and Technology. It was with these students that Chrzanowski, Gitelson, Murphy, Steiff, and Ulrich combed the streets of Chicago collecting found items and trash that lent themselves to represent the culture at large. Careful editing between the A.C.T. students and the group led to such items as a car freshener with the Japanese character for 'happiness', a 'War and Victory' Trivial Pursuit game card that the group updated with 'Duct Tape' and 'Los Alamos' to represent contemporary concerns, and a fast food receipt with the words 'To Go'. The group combined these found items with documentary style photographs taken to represent consumer and disposable culture.

District considering ads in school buses

Billboards to Help Find Missing Kids
TAMPA -- Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday unveiled a high-tech program to send notices of a child abduction through e-mail and text messaging as well as new billboards similar to the state's Amber Alert warning signs.

About 20 billboards will be placed statewide. State law enforcement officials haven't decided what other children might be featured, or if Rilya Wilson, the Miami girl whose disappearance from state custody sparked a crisis for Bush, will be among those featured.

Amber Alerts use a system of electronic highway signs located around the state. They notify motorists to look out for abducted children, and sometimes describe suspect vehicles.

California Town Gets close to $1 million to take down boards
With nearly $1 million waiting for them in Washington, D.C., city leaders in Agoura Hills will decide Wednesday whether to use the money to bring down the billboards lining the freeway.

Earlier this year, Congress set aside $993,500 to help the city clean up the Highway 101 corridor. The grant is from the Federal Highway Administration, which manages the National Scenic Byways program.

"It's nice to have some of our lobbying pay off," said Councilman Dan Kuperberg, noting that the council for years has sought help with its goal to remove blight along the freeway. "It's a $1 million windfall for the city, but even more important, it improves the appearance of the corridor."

According to Kuperberg and Mayor Jeff Reinhardt, the majority of the grant will be used to bring down billboards that have lined the freeway for more than 20 years.

Monday, August 25, 2003

L.A. Times Colomnist: Defacing Billboards Should be Legal
The relationships of graffiti and advertising, art and vandalism, expression and manipulation, freedom and money, have been explored systematically since the mid-1980s by artist Ron English. His chosen medium is the billboard: He and his assistants, in broad daylight, repaint public billboards with subversive messages, a procedure for which they have faced arrest several times.

Monday, August 18, 2003

AAA Billboards Highlight Speed Traps: "he feud over speeding tickets between the AAA Auto Club and Police Chief A.W. Smith has reached new heights with the placement of billboards warning motorists of traffic enforcement in Waldo and Lawtey."

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Billboard helps search for Tabitha
Lamar Outdoor has donated a billboard to the family of a missing girl. The board is on one of Nashville's busiest highways. Father Bo Tuders said that Tabitha's billboard will remain until Tabitha comes home. He hopes that's very soon.

FoxNews Fan Buys Billboard Thanking God
This retired ad salesman isn’t the first Fox News Channel junkie to fill up on hours of the popular news outlet every day. But Bob Spratlin is probably the only one buying billboards thanking God for it.
Spratlin plunked down a few thousand dollars to buy a billboard that says ‘‘THANK GOD FOR THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL.’’ Another billboard will go up in a nearby town later this year, and Spratlin envisions more, all preaching his deliver-us-from-liberals message.

‘‘I wanted to wake people up,’’ the 73-year-old said. ‘‘I wanted to say, ‘Wake up, America! Wake up, you young people!’’’

Monday, August 04, 2003

Billboard liberation front targets torte-reform 30 sheets. More info here

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Tasteless outdoor ad campaign takes product from fiction to reality
Outhouse Springs, the “truly tasteless water” with the amusingly off-color slogans, has proved itself a paradigm for the power of billboard advertising. While the bottled water never officially existed during its eight-week promotional campaign, demand has turned the imaginary Outhouse Springs into a tangible product that will be on the shelves of Piggly Wiggly as of July 14.

A year and a half ago, Adams Outdoor Advertising struck up a trade agreement with bottled water company Appalachian Springs that left them with 400 extra cases of water. Having heard about the success of a campaign for fictitious Australian beer HAKA Bitter, Adams decided to have a little fun with a fictional campaign of their own. As it happens, they created a marketing phenomenon.

With slogans like “America’s first recycled water,” “We’re #1 not #2,” and “People love us but they won’t shake our hands,” the premise of the campaign was a play upon the duality of “taste”—or, more accurately, a lack thereof—explains Jeff Taylor, vice president of Cognetix, the advertising agency that came up with the idea of Outhouse Springs.

After Rob Jackson and Shannon Bromley of the Adams creative team had finalized the graphic execution of the campaign, 40 billboards were placed around Charleston in the last week of April. The campaign was designed to target upwards of 650,000 exposures per day and had an estimated value of $38,000 to $40,000 per month—around half the budget spent by larger advertisers in the market, says Kane.

Taylor and the Cognetix team were surprised by the public’s reaction to the campaign. After the billboards had been up for just four weeks, a survey conducted by Cognetix demonstrated 70% of people said yes when asked if they had heard of or were familiar with Outhouse Springs.

Billboard Liberation Front Alters Banana Republic Board With Lesbian Reference

Clear Channel has yet to re-snipe the board.

'Breasts billboards' pass muster
The airline itself dismissed accusations of sexism in its ad, saying that it had just been "topical, humorous and irreverent".

The ad, which appeared on both billboards and in newspapers, showed a woman's breasts in a bikini top, and also had the slogan: Lowest fares to the sun".

Hit the road, billboards
Former billboard designer bashes billboards, calls for them all to be removed.

Clear Channel 2nd-Qtr Profit Rises on Billboard Sales
Clear Channel Communications Inc., the biggest U.S. owner of radio stations, had higher second- quarter profit as revenue rose in the company's billboard unit and interest expense fell. Radio sales declined 2.1 percent.

Revenue at the outdoor business rose to $569.2 million from $474 million, boosted by last year's purchase of Ackerley Group Inc., the company said. Ebitda climbed 7.2 percent to $154.8 million.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Opinion divided over billboard scandal's result
TRENTON - Despite eight months of controversy and debate, Trenton insiders are split sharply on whether the fallout from "Billboardgate" will be political or if the scandal will culminate in criminal indictments.

Republicans in the Legislature have called for a string of hearings into the business deals of two former top aides to Gov. James E. McGreevey. The McGreevey aides are accused of using political clout to arrange permits to build lucrative billboards, including one in Gloucester County, shortly before taking office in January 2002.

Some signs were erected in towns that have ordinances prohibiting outdoor advertising.

BuyMusic.com Bets on Nude Tommy Lee Billboard
Rocker Tommy Lee thinks his nude billboard in Times Square is going to make a bundle for BuyMusic.com.

Naughty Lee and buttoned-upScott Blum, CEO of BuyMusic.com, teamed up to launch the first legal PC music download Web site. And, in the process, trying to set themselves up as the anti-Apple.

At BuyMusic.com's kickoff, Blum played the role of the classic straight edge, clean-cut CEO - a sharp contrast to Lee's shaggy hair, piercings galore and tattoos. Blum did, however, attempt to dress down Steve Jobs-style in a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, but he couldn't bring himself to get rid of the blazer.

-- Tommy Lee hasn't sold much of anything lately, especially in the music world. Perhaps a nude billboard featuring his ex-wife would help BuyMusic.com more -- Ed.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

PETA Billboard Turned Down in Wyoming
An anti-rodeo billboard featuring a scantily clad ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has been declared too hot for general audiences here.

The advertisement shows a sultry-looking Bonnie-Jill Laflin, who also appeared on the TV series Baywatch, wearing nothing but very short shorts - partially unzipped - and cowboy boots while lying down in hay. Her right arm covers her breasts as she holds a white cowboy hat.

The billboard's caption reads ''Nobody likes an eight-second ride'' - a double entendre playing off the eight seconds rodeo competitors need to stay on their bucking animals to score points.

But Helenans won't see the billboard that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted to put up.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising said the ad simply shows too much skin.

Roswell Goes After Billboards Again
Roswell has been fighting the billboard industry for years, and it has lost at least as many legal battles as it has won.

Now the city is going to war again.

After a three-year lull, Roswell's latest billboard ordinance has been challenged on constitutional grounds in Fulton County Superior Court.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Teen Condom Billboards up in Bangkok

Controversial new line of condoms first mentioned in The Nation last month: Motorists on Rama IV Road are being greeted with the sight of a giant billboard featuring three giant condoms and the words: "teen confidence". For some, CP Consumer's new One Touch "Sweet Teen" line of condoms - scented lime, cola and mixed fruit - may be proof that the Kingdom's safe-sex campaigns have finally come of age, but for others it is just more evidence of the decadence Thailand has succumbed to... According to the spokesperson, Durex, the largest selling condom in Thailand, was expected to launch a similar product next month.

Nissa Tries Outdoor Street Art
From WoosterCollective.com, a street-art website:

Earlier this week in our 'hood (and we're assuming also in cities across the country) a series of posters suddenly went up that, at first glance, looks a lot like someone has painted and wheat pasted street art images over them. But upon a closer look, it becomes obvious that the paint and wheat paste is fake, and that the poster itself is an advert for a new electric car from Nissan. Immediately after the posters went up, we started to receive emails

The campaign, directed by Chiat/Day, uses traditional outdoor like walls, billboards, and 30 sheets, then adds 'street art' on top to promote ElectricMoyo.com, a site which promotes Nissan's street cred through a female 'underground' spokesperson who goes by Moyo and drives a Nissan Altima. The run apparently will include outdoor and radio spots from Moyo's 'pirate radio' housed in her Altima. The question is, will the outdoor street-art component work? Or will the target market simply yawn when they realize that ElectricMoyo is an organized campaign and not genuine street-art?

Thursday, July 17, 2003

"Billboard Liberation Front" Strikes Again
The secretive San Francisco-based group, famous for altering large outdoor advertisements by such corporate behemoths as Exxon, R.J. Reynolds, and Apple Computers, pulled its latest prank on S.F.-based Banana Republic.

The large billboard is located off of Highway 101 northbound by the Cesar Chavez Street exit. The alteration was apparently made sometime Sunday night to appear on the billboard in time for morning traffic entering San Francisco.

One discreet phrase was added: "The Sappho Collection" appeared beneath the words Banana Republic and to the left of two large photos of two women together, playfully modeling Banana Republic's summer line of clothes.

Perhaps a little too playfully, according to the BLF. The subtle addition is a reference to the ancient Greek poet Sappho, a lesbian who lived most of her life on the Isle of Lesbos and wrote impassioned poems on female love.

Something that the BLF might not have known is that the two women are actually sisters, models Karen and Kate Elson, a perhaps unintended additional subplot to the message.

Delta's Nostalgia trip board gets an AJC write-up
Commuters stuck in traffic on I-85 should have time to study Delta Air Lines' latest effort to tout its Atlanta roots: a towering billboard on the Peach Building, one of Atlanta's more coveted advertising locations.

The nostalgic billboard features three of Atlanta's icons in a 1940s-era photo: One of Delta's first flight attendants holds two Coca-Cola coolers as she smiles from the doorway of a DC-3 at Hartsfield International Airport, then called Candler Field.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Spotted on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake:

Custom paint on top of Disney's Pirates of the Carribean 30 sheet.
Thanks to reader A. for the photo. Send your pics to cz1679 (@) yahoo (dot) com.

Outdoor Advertising Shows Growing Strength in First Quarter
The outdoor media industry experienced modest growth in overall spending in the first quarter of 2003, netting $1.25 billion, a 2.3% increase over the first quarter of 2002. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the industry posted significant gains in the categories of Local Services & Amusements, Financial, and Automotive.

“Relative to the overall ad industry recession, outdoor media continues to show resiliency, particularly on a local level, where the medium is strongly employed,” according to Stephen Freitas, Chief Marketing Officer for the OAAA. Freitas added that reports from OAAA member companies indicate that second quarter sales have shown buoyancy and that early summer spending is brisk.

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