Finnish Paper uses Outdoor Billboards to reach Presidents Trump and Putin

The use of outdoor billboards by a Finnish paper to send messages to both Presidents Putin and Trump is a unique campaign. To make sure their message was received by these two dignitaries the campaign is using 300 outdoor billboards with different messages in both English and Russian languages.

Two of the messages directed at President Trump include “Mr. President, Welcome to the land of free press” along with one that actually uses President Trumps name it in which used the words “Trump calls media enemy of the people.”

There were also messaged directed at President Putin, but Translations have not been published. The 300 billboards are paid for by Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat.

Their messages have been placed on outdoor billboards and at bus stops on the road from the airport to the location of the summit meeting, the presidential palace. There were also some in the airport itself.

The intention of the campaign by the Finnish paper is explained in a press release by the paper’s editor-in-chief Kaius Nieme which included this quote, “raise the topic of the freedom of the press around the world.”

Other groups have joined in the campaign with their own messages including the sign reading “Trump and Putin: Stop the Crimes Against Humanity in Chechnya.” This message was posted by the Human Right Campaign and is actually on the presidential palace.  Greenpeace also posted two ads on the Kallio church with the statement “Warm Our Hearts, Not Our Planet.” Both of these postings were reported by the Huffington Post.

Just like the Save the Horse Outdoor Billboard Campaign in North Carolina, the messages in Helsinki are aimed at visitors to the area.  While the campaign to save the horses is using the billboards as a mass media outlet to the public, the campaign in Helsinki is aimed at two power world leaders on the surface, but realistically it was done so media coverage in papers, TV and radio would take notice of the protests.

No matter the reason for the posting of the messages, the use of outdoor billboards has once again proven its relevance in the modern digital world of advertising. This way to reach the public has been effective for more than 100 years and is still going strong.

It is true some of the most covered campaigns on outdoor billboards are in large metropolitan areas and the outdoor billboard business in these cities that are charging a premium for their ad space. In the smaller populated areas, the rent for such space is lower, but still a great source of continuous and passive income.

The outdoor billboard business sector is a place those that want to get a message out to the public can do so in a cost effective manner.  For those in the outdoor billboard business sector, their services will always be in need and is great second income as it is for many who make this type of investment.

Save the Horses Outdoor Billboard Campaign


This past Friday a new save the horses outdoor billboard campaign began to help save the lives of the wild horses of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The campaign is “No Feed, No approach”. This campaign is being promoted by the Currituck Outer Banks Corolla Wild Horse Fund and has a posting on Facebook.

The full ad reads “Admire Don’t Feed! Apples and Carrots Kill Wild Horses.” The ad was necessary due to the dangers these wild horses have encountered by being feed junk food from curious tourists to the Outer Banks. It has been reported that any food source other than their natural beach grass can cause one of these horses to have colic and possible death.

These wild horses are decedents of the herd brought to America by explorers from Europe more than 400 years ago. They are classified as wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs. The Outer Banks of North Carolina have been their home ever since their arrival.

In the past the dangers to the health of the herd has been disease and all terrain vehicles that roam the beaches. Both of these still threaten the herd, but the junk food is a threat that has grown recently and the reason for the new outdoor billboard campaign.

The billboard itself is owned by Karen and Mac Quidley and is situated on their land. They have voluntarily donated the sign for this campaign to help save the herd.  The billboard itself is 10’ by 60’. The vinyl sign was paid for by Kelly Wilkes, a volunteer from the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. Robert and Carol Givens of RO Givens Signs posted the sign at no cost. The design of the sign was created and donated by Terry Douglas of Richmond, Virginia.

Tourists approaching the Outer Banks now see this sign before they get to the beaches located there. By providing this public service, the group above is hoping to save the herd from pain and discomfort because of the interaction is it having with the curious tourists.

For any tourist visiting this area of the coast there is also a law they should be aware of. It is illegal to approach any closer than 50’ to any member of this wild herd. For tourists that would like to see the herd, there are formal tours they can join so they can see them from the appropriate distance.

This is another great example of how the public is using outdoor billboards for a cause close to their hearts to get a message out. Just like the billboard stating ‘Texas is for Everybody, not for Bigotry, Welcome Y’All’, the public is using the oldest mass media source, outdoor billboards to inform the public about their views or causes.

For those entrepreneurs who are in the outdoor billboard business, helping a cause by donating a sign, a billboard or posting it is great for public relations. The example from Texas also shows how it can be profitable.

The save the horses outdoor billboard campaign has no termination time so far and tourists should expect to see it all summer long on their visits to the Outer Banks.

Current News in the Outdoor Billboard Business Sector

As previously reported there is a billboard war going on in Texas between friendly Texans and those that want to keep liberals out. On June 21st it was reported about the billboard that advised liberals to keep going until they left Texas.

There were reports at that time of a campaign to raise funds online that was going on to post another message, but with an opposite opinion.  Now both Fox News and Dallas News have reported the fund raising event was a success and the new billboard is up.

The new billboard clearly states ‘Texas is for Everybody, not for Bigotry, Welcome Y’All’. This new billboard is now on display in Amarillo, Texas while the other billboard telling liberals to leave the state was taken down last week.

This new outdoor billboard sign was the inspiration of Roman Leal. He is the owner of the Evocation Coffee Shop in Amarillo and the grandson of migrant farm workers. When being interviewed about the fund raising and the reason for the sign as told to a Dallas News Reporter he said “My grandparents were migrant farm workers who came to this area and fell in love with the sense of community in this area and were welcomed by the people who live here.”

The original goal of the fund raising was to attain $1,800 so the sign could be posted and remain in place for 4 weeks. As of Tuesday June 26th the amount of money that has been voluntarily contributed to the cause has exceeded $4,000.

Mr. Leal has stated what the extra funds will be used for when he said “Any contributions exceeding the goal will be used to pay for a longer duration.”

Mr. Leal’s response to the financial help his campaign has received from the public was simple, “I’m super proud to be a citizen of Texas and a citizen of Amarillo,” and “I’ve really been proud of the response”. I could not have said it better myself.

In other news the QSR Media awards for 2018 were handed out. Guzman y Gomez won the Best Marketing Campaign award for their #BringCalHome campaign. This was a combined social media and Out of Home campaign on public buses as reported by CMO.  As a result this chain of 106 restaurants now sells 185,000 burritos a day.  This same company also has involved Google Drones to deliver the burritos.

The campaign was based on the desire of a traveler to have his favorite food delivered to him when he was abroad. The traveler was Cal Ryan of Australia who had traveled to London and had not eaten his favorite food, a Guzman y Gomez burrito bowl in 6 months.

This is a great example of how advertising has changed. No longer are campaigns aimed to tell the public what they want, like it was in the past. Today the successful ad campaign provides the public with what they want. It also requires the use of social media and an Out of Home advertising campaign to work together to be successful.

This is just some of the latest news in the outdoor billboard business sector.

Outdoor Billboards Businesses are Thriving

With an increase in revenue from the previous year, the Out-of-Home advertising business sector in America had an increase in 2017 by 1.2%.  This revenue stream has now reached $7.7 billion annually and is continuing to rise. The past 31 consecutive quarters had rising profits and growth, the outdoor billboard businesses across the nation have a solid future for the entrepreneurs of our country for a passive income to be made.

There are many different organizations that are looking to capitalize on this growth potential including California. Their governor has recently announced that the state will begin to open their traffic billboards to the private sector for means of advertising.

That move by California is posed to bring in much needed cash to the state coffers, but there might be a price to pay for it. Back in February this year the Federal Highway Administration or FHWA imposed a fine of $14 million on the state of New York for illegal use of on-road signs that the state owns.

The problem the state of New York has is they are promoting the state for tourism in an illegal fashion with the ‘I Love New York’ signs. The regulation of state owned signs have to be in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or MUTCHD as issued by the FHWA.

The signs NY has posted advertising the state are illegal because they are did not follow the rules as stipulated by the MUTCHD guidelines. The fine imposed is not really a fine but rather the withholding of $14 million of federal money the DOT of NY would have received from the federal government. The state of California might experience the same type of fine or withholding of federal funds with the renting out of their traffic billboards.

The MUTCHD states that the state owned welcome signs can only display the name of the state, its seal and motto along with the current governor’s name. The sign can also be in any color other than the green used as official road information signs as used in America.

As seen in the picture above, everything below the ‘Welcome to New York’ part of the message is not allowed. Even the governor’s name on a green sign below the welcome sign is not permitted in accordance with the MUTCHD guidelines.

With the first road side billboards being rented out in the near future in California, the FHWA will have to review their guidelines and decide if withholding federal funds will occur for that state.

Both of these instances are examples of why every outdoor billboard company should always comply with the laws that regulate this business sector. The private business sector is fined when they break the rules or laws. While a state will never go out of business, privately owned businesses have to make a profit or close their doors.

Know the laws and regulation in your area of the country where you have billboards to help ensure your passive income from advertising will continue. This is just a good business practice to maintain a profitable business and income.

Controversial Messages on Outdoor Billboards

There are checks and balances for all messages that are posted in the outdoor billboard business sector. These checks are not only in place in America but other countries like Australia. This is to prevent any racial vilification or prejudice towards any group of people due to their heritage, ancestry or political views.

Earlier this week a billboard near Vegas, Texas came under scrutiny after it was noticed and the image posted on Facebook by a local as reported by the Star -Telegraph. The sign read “Liberals Please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS’.

The local was from a nearby town of Fritch, Texas that has a population of just above 2,000. The town of Vegas has a population of 906 as recoded in the census of 2016. On the Facebook page of Kylee Mccallie was the caption of ‘Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it!’

As of late Wednesday the billboard message has been reportedly removed according to one of over 2,500 responses to this Facebook page.

In response the site has raised enough funds to post the billboard with the message ‘Texas is for Everyone”.  This message will be on a digital billboard at the junction of I-40 and Coulter. The sign is expected to be posted by Friday June 22, 2018 and should remain in place for a minimum of 4 weeks.

In Australia there was another controversial message to be posted on an outdoor billboard. The Aboriginal Victoria’s Deadly Questions campaign has been stopped after the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) advised APN Outdoor not to post it.

The ad and campaign was designed to have non-native Australia’s or non-Aboriginal Australia’s ask the tough questions they have about the aboriginal people and the Australian government support of them.

Of the seven ads that were proposed two of them were found to be discriminatory towards the Aboriginal people according to the Australian Association of National Advertisers code of ethics.

The image of one of the two messages was mocked up and then posted by Mumbrella and the Guardian in a report about this situation. The entire campaign developed by the Victorian Government has been pulled from the advertising company of APN Outdoors, but instead will now be posted by JC Decaux.

At this time there are no details about the new ad campaign that have been released by the Australian Government or the ad agency.

What is ironic is that the ad that was posted then removed was funded by a private citizen in Texas, but the ad campaign funded by the Australian Government was blocked. Maybe the difference was the extent of the campaigns. The one it Texas was just local while the campaign in Victoria, Australia was to be more wide spread. The other difference was an ethical group was named by the ad in Australia while the ad in Texas targeted a political view.

It is events like the two examples above that the outdoor billboard business owners has to consider in their daily business dealings with those that want to get a message out.

California to make a Profit with Digital Outdoor Billboards

The number of digital outdoor billboards in California has nearly tripled under the governorship of Jerry Brown. He has been a friend to this type of Out-of-Home advertising since he took office nearly 8 years ago and is now looking to profit from it.

In the past decade the number of digital billboards on California highways has gone from 125 to 366. This was done by the state granting permits for them and charging a modest fee. The governor now feels there is another approach that can bring in additional revenue for the state.

There are 904 digital signs the state owns as reported by the LA Times and OOH Today. These signs vary in size and are currently being used to warn the traveling public of road hazards, traffic information and Amber alerts. The new proposal by the governor is to rent out the space to Out-of-Home advertising companies.

Governor Brown has a proposal that will begin with a 5 year pilot plan that would rent out the state owned digital signs. The proposal could bring in a net of $10.2 million to the state over a 4 year span.

This idea has been backed by several outdoor billboard companies that have purportedly spent more than $2 million in lobbing the state legislation for the rights to rent out the state owned signs for the past 10 years. These same businesses have also contributed more than $4.52 million to political campaigns in that same time period.  Part of those funds went to Governor Brown’s campaign coffers.

The areas of the state where the state owned signs would be operating with advertising will include Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco.  These metro areas were picked because of their high density in population and traffic flow where the Out-of-Home advertising would get maximum exposure. The state could also charge a premium for this sign renting business due to these three areas of the state are also the location of the most profitable revenue markets.

There are opponents to this proposal in the state legislation, who have legitimate worries about the alternative use of state owned digital signs. Because the location of many of the state owned signs are mobile; they will be on the shoulders of the highways. This could be distracting to motorists as they pass by.

There are those that feel the changing usage of the signs would also reduce the effectives of them when they would be used to inform the public of road or traffic hazards. The signs could also pose as a hazard themselves being on the road side. This is unlike the larger outdoor billboards that are positioned off the road.

The first 25 state owned signs are not mobile, but located on pillars above the roads in high traffic and congested areas. The profitability of this business venture is about to unfold. With this business venture states will be entering the Out-of-Home advertising business sector.  With the state paying for the construction of the digital billboards with tax payer money, many feel this would be an unfair advantage.

Only time will tell if the proposal in California using their digital outdoor billboards for private advertising is good for this business sector. It could also be the future for Out-of-Home advertising.

Outdoor Billboards and Social Shaming Messages

In the latest news on outdoor billboards is an attempt by Andy Parker to rent out billboard space to post anti-gun and anti-Ted Nugent signs.  The signs were a move by this gun control activist Andy Parker to publicly shame the pro gun activist Ted Nugent before his show at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia next month.

The outdoor billboard business owners are once again proving there is more than money when it comes to what they will rent out space on their billboards. Three of the larger outdoor billboard companies that have signage in this part of the country have turned down the opportunity to post the anti-gun and anti-Nugent ads.

The three companies were Capital Outdoor, Lamar Advertising and Outfront Media. So far there has been very little released any reason why these companies did not accept Mr. Parker as a client according to the Roanoke Times, but it might have to do with his message and the legality of public smearing a celebrity.

The messages Mr. Parker attempted to get up included were“#BoycottBerglund” and an anti-Nugent sign that included “Brought to you by Berglund.” Both of these not only wanted to shame Mr. Nugent but also the venue of his concert. The reason given for not renting the space by an unnamed source at one of the billboard companies was they would not shame another business.

The image Mr. Parker wanted to use showing Mr. Nugent with a semi automatic gun has also raised questions. Just because a person finds a photo on the internet does not mean anyone can reprint it.

Those reasons have not stopped the mobile advertiser of DC Mobile Ads from taking the contract.  This is the same Out-of-Home advertiser who posted Anti Trump and Anti Obama ads in the past. Those ads included the words “TRUMP IS AN ORANGE NAZI” along with “OBAMA WAS BORN IN KENYA.”

What the people of Roanoke can expect is that for 2 days there will be two mobile advertising trucks roaming their city with ads aiming to persuading people away from attending the upcoming Ted Nugent concert.

Since it has not occurred yet, the legal implications of this advertising campaign has yet to unfold. Verbally attacking presidential candidates is not new, but shaming a business and a celebrity is unheard of in this manner.

The mobile ad business owner is an independent business operator and seems not to fear any possible lawsuit. The bigger outdoor billboard companies that turned down this ad campaign are much larger with lawyers on retainer. It is more than likely these lawyers told them it would be risky to rent out their advertising space in this manner.

This is another lesson any outdoor billboard owner should take note of. This type of ad campaign is not the same as the 4 billboards of Wichita or the shaming of the NY Times. The message by Mr. Parker is directed at a business that has nothing other than book an act and at a performer because of his personal views on guns by using unauthorized pictures and words that could get the mobile advertiser and Mr. Parker in legal trouble.

If you are the owner of a billboard, be sure you are ready for the legal pitfalls of advertising a social message. It is not the same as advertising a restaurant

Outdoor Billboard Businesses Winning Legal Battles

There have been 2 cases that involved the outdoor billboard business including the one in the court room in Nevada and another in the city council chambers in South Dakota. In both instances the outdoor billboard businesses have won. This is more evidence in the power of this mass media format with there is a truth in advertising.

The legal case involved a city ordinance in Reno that forbids the construction of new outdoor billboards. The non-profit group Scenic Nevada brought the complaint after the Sanders Outdoor billboard business had continued to construct new digital billboards after the new ordinance was passed.

The controversy involved the 2000 ballot initiative that banned new billboards in which 32,000 residents were in favor of. At that time there were 278 billboards in the city’s jurisdiction. Today there are still only 278 billboards.

The judge’s ruling defined the word ‘new’ so everyone will understand how it has been interrupted. The word ‘new’ in Nevada in this instance means additional. Because the so called new construction of billboards in the area are not adding to the number of billboards, just the replacing of old ones with new digital bill boards, the number of these mass media advertising units has remained the same. These digital billboards are now cleared to receive new permits so they can be placed in alternative location than the one’s they are replacing.

In Rapid City, South Dakota was a dispute between the city and Epic Outdoor Advertising. This instance is evidence some officials react instead of being proactive in some situations. The Epic advertising company had in place many digital billboards that were showing full motion and animated ads on their digital billboards. There was no ordinance prohibiting this when they first appeared.

Shortly after the first ones appeared, the city passed a new ordinance banning the use of full motion and animation on billboards. The city council voted 7-3 in favor of Epic after a nearly a 5 year legal battle. It was cited that portions of the original ordinance were illegal.

Members of the city council that voted on the side of Epic did so to avoid further legal litigation that would have cost the tax payers tremendous amount of money and they would still lose the case.

In the decision the ordinance is allowed to stand, but with exceptions. Epic has agreed to stop full motion ads on the digital billboards so the residents that claim they have been distracted by them can be appeases. Epic is also permitted to build new billboards on I-90. The new digital billboards will also be issued permits.

In both instances money on lawyers had to be spent, but the outdoor billboard businesses won. It shows just how powerful the out of home advertising business sector still is today and how they will not be bullied.

Outdoor billboard businesses range in size from small ones with its owners only owning a few to the largest private billboard business in the US of Fairway Outdoor Advertising which owns more than 17,000.

In 2016 alone the outdoor billboard business nationwide had an annual revenue of $7.6 billon. This is a business sector that is still growing and a force to be reckoned with.

NY Times Shamed on Billboard by Watchdog Group


The use of outdoor billboards in letting the public know about a situation is once again in the headlines. This time a government is not the target or political official, but the news media empire of the New York Times.

The watchdog group CAMERA is responsible for the large billboard mounted on the side of the building near the NY Times headquarters. The traffic going by this billboard is estimated at 100,000 people a day.

This is another example of how popular outdoor billboards are and the power to communicate they possess. Half way around the world people are finding out about this event due to its coverage on the new media source FOX News.

The watchdog groups has shamed the NY Timers for being biased against the country of Israel in how and what it has been reporting and publishing for the past 6 months about the Arab-Israel conflict. They have cited 18 different instances where there were error riddled reports were published by the news paper.

This is not the first time an outdoor billboard has been used to inform the public about a subject that someone or a group in a position of power is hiding. Just like in the movie 3 Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, this is a public message to make people aware.

It is true in the movie the news media and internet outlets did not pick up on the story, but in the real world, these public messages by private citizens and groups are getting coverage.  The use of outdoor billboards for sending the public a mass media message is growing in popularity.

These are not alone in what is being covered by the internet, news agencies and being posted on outdoor billboards. Unusual billboards are also making the news like the Toyota campaign in NYC that incorporated a rock climbing wall as part of their advertisement on a billboard.

This is another example of how the mass media outlet of outdoor billboards is thriving in the new digital world. To make the point even further, these social billboards are of the original style by being static signs, not digital.

For the outdoor billiard businesses that are posting these signs, two things have become apparent. The short term rentals of the billboards is above the market value and very profitable for one. The other is the legal aspect of defamation.

The 3 billboards that make a statement about sexual abuse and a teacher in NY is a cautionary tale. Two outdoor billboard businesses turn this customer down. A third one did post the announcement, but had the name of the accused was removed from the sign. This was done to legally protect the business posting the billboard.

The outdoor billboard business is a lucrative and thriving business sector to be in where the owner of the billboard is known. Legally protecting the business has to come before the potential profits.

The Hijacking of an Outdoor Digital Billboard

The power of the new outdoor digital billboards is more than what most have considered in the past including the hijacking of the signal. This newest form of Out-of-Home advertising makes it possible to get a message out to the masses in the matter of minutes.

The manner at which the images on a digital billboard can be changed is by an internet based remote access and support program. This type of software makes it easy to transfer and share files so they will appear on the digital billboards.

The typical use of this mass media type of advertising is sold at 8 second intervals on a 64 second loop. What can be displayed from static messages to videos. For most types of displays the results are what were intend by the advertiser, but this is not always the case.

Late last month a digital billboard in downtown Makita in Manila, Philippines was supposedly high jacked. Instead of the intended advertising on the billboard, a pornographic film was playing at approximately 2 pm local time.

Mulong Sermonia was passing by the billboard at this time and captured the moment with the camera on his cell phone. He then shared in on the social media site Facebook.

Before the afternoon was gone the Makita mayor Abby Binay was informed of the incident and issued a cease and desist order to the billboard owner. This order was immediately complied with and the pornographic images disappeared from the screen. An investigation has been launched into how the images were able to be displayed.

As fast as the digital billboard was hijacked, control was reestablished. This example shows the speed at which a message can be sent out. It also shows a vulnerability of this type of advertising if the owner of the billboard does not have the proper level of security and firewalls in place.

At this time this is the only reported hijacking where porno was displayed in the world on a digital billboard. For the digital billboard business owners, this incident should be noted so the proper precautions in preventing it from reoccurring are put into place.

In the past the other noted hijackings included students playing space invaders back in 2013. These students then notified the billboard owner and told them how they hacked it by using their cell phones to help him improve his security protocols.


Earlier this year 3 standard outdoor billboards were hijacked by large signs being draped over them. This was a message to those involved in the Oscars this year and the massive sex scandal involving the Hollywood elite.

This just illustrates that proper security protocols in the outdoor bill board business must be kept up to date. These examples are also a prime reason for outdoor billboard insurance.  There is more than damage from Mother Nature that should be included in this type of insurance policy to help protect an advertising business.