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.

News in the Outdoor Billboard Business

There are various ways businesses are now using outdoor billboards to attract the attention of the public. One of the more original paths was taken by Toyota with their climbable billboard.

This is another example of how business are using Out-of-Home advertising to get people involved with their ad campaign. This Toyota billboard is located in Times Square in NYC and is advertising a new hybrid vehicle.

The billboard depicts a cliff with the SUV at the base. On the image of the cliff are foot and hand holds so people can actually climb up the face of the cliff. The theme is ‘How far will you take it’.

The results showed an increase in sales of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid in 2016 and 2017 since the ad was posted. Ironically this ad had most of its exposure on social media.

The trend of using multiple billboards as with the movie 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is continuing.  The Ann Arbor Bank is posting 4 billboards directed at Chaplin Sister Jean of the opposing team Michigan will face in the final four, Loyola-Chicago.

Ann Arbor Bank might just be a local financial institution, but with this ad campaign they have grabbed national attention.

Interaction with the public like the tearing down of posters as in the JetBlue ad in NYC and the rock climbing billboard in Times Square has sprung a new way advertising are using outdoor billboards. From the Swedish comes interaction with birds to grab attention.

The billboard depicts two hands against a blue sky. Live and wild birds can be seen interacting with the billboard. Their interaction is the natural reaction to the offering of food. There are 8 birdfeeders with birdseed on the billboard.

This ad campaign is from the corporation Ramboll that is using this approach to entice the public to view billboards in a new way. Not only are the billboards a way for business to get their message out, but also as a way businesses  give back to their community.

The use of artificial Intelligence is also being used in outdoor billboard campaigns. This is a game changer for out –of-Home advertising. No longer is the use of this mass media a general message, but can be used to target an audience that is currently viewing the ad.

This approach is providing the public with something they might be interested in. At this time it is only possible to have this type of interact with individuals, but no one knows what the future would hold. A good example is when a person holding a smart phone walks by an AL poster, the poster shows an ad for a smart phone or a wireless provider.

Not only are the messages on outdoor billboards just reaching the public that see them, but the public that visit the many social media sites on the internet. As outdoor billboards become smart billboards, the target audience will become smaller, but interaction will increase. This is the future for the outdoor advertising business.

4 Billboards of Wichita

Just like in the movie 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, there are the real life 4 Billboards of Wichita, Kansas. Just like in the movie, the theme is seeking justice for a life lost and the lack of proper police investigation into the death.

The picture of what the billboards say was posted on the local news channels Twitter page of KWCH12.

The black letters on red background might be hard to read, but could have been used to signify the blood and then death of an innocent man. The billboards read “ANDY FINCH IS DEAD. IF YOU BELIEVE IN JUSTICE, IT’S TIME TO FILE CHARGES.” The color scheme is the same as the now famous movie.

The four billboards are posted in all four directions of the compass on and near Rock Road in Wichita. They have garnered attention even with the March Madness Tournament going on which Wichita State was part of until their defeat by Marshal.

The reason the billboards have been posted is because after 3 months of no action by the police for pressing charges against one of their own who gunned down an innocent man.

Andy Finch was an unarmed 28 year old who died in his front yard after being shot by an unnamed police officer as the reports have stated, when the police were responding to a swatting hoax. Andy Finch was just a victim of the swathing hoax and had nothing to do with it, yet he is dead and no accountability by the person that gunned him down has been taken by the local police department.

The billboards where posted by JusticeforAndy.org. The website states it is owned by members of the community in Wichita. No names other than the victim, the criminal that made the prank phone call and the police officer identified by witnesses from the scene of the killing.

Only time will tell just how effective the 4 billboards of Wichita will be. It has been three months now since the incident and now the billboards are up and attracting attention. This will apply pressure to the police department, but so far police claim no fault in the incident.

In the movie it took months for before the sheriff took action and that was when he was on near death. So far 3 months have elapsed since the killing of Andy Finch occurred. It has only been days since the billboards went up. Will the country react?

If history repeats itself, this police officer that gunned down Andy will just be reassigned to another area because the unarmed man had no political influence or wealth. It is very common. Justice for innocent victims of the police killings is rare.

Hopefully the 4 billboards of Wichita will make a difference.

The billboards from the movie and from Wichita are about police violence and inaction in solving or resolving crimes, but this same approach can be used for other purposes.

Outdoor billboards are the oldest and most effective mass media advertising that will be seen by the most people of any kind of ad to date. If you have a message, this approach will get you noticed.

Sources: KWCH12, Huffington Post

The New Trendy Outdoor Billboard Business

The newest trend in advertising is the use of 3 billboards. The trend was influenced by the Oscar winning movie 3 billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri which showed how 3 billboards could grab the attention of those passing  with short and to the point messages, one leading to the next.

No longer is the outdoor billboard business reserved for product advertising. More and more organizations are using them to spread their message. The latest themes are gun control in American and in England the fight over Brexit to name just two.

In the past there had been an occasional personal message that has included a marriage proposal that was successful. In Cleveland the use of 3 billboards last month was used in an attempt to persuade LeBron James to switch teams and play for Philadelphia when he becomes a free agent next year.

As with all of the messages, they are short, sweet, to the point and their message is getting out with people noticing them. Because of not only the movie, but also the recent use of 3 billboards with numerous messages on a wide variety of topics, the outdoor billboard business is going through an upsurge in business.

Right now is the time to get into the outdoor billboard business while it is still going up. This is a very profitable business venture that has been around for over 100 years and will never go way as long as there are roads and people traveling on them.

What many do not realize or have thought about is that the outdoor billboard business is more than just the huge signs by the roads across the nation. This type of advertising is all around us, but at times goes unnoticed.

The poster size advertising can be seen at bus stops, in, at and on the subways and trains and on light posts. The size and magnitude of this lucrative business venture is unparalleled in terms of the number of people that see them.

This is a mass media marketing approach, but it can also be used to target a specific audience like the marriage proposal and the private ad to let LeBron now knows he is wanted on the Philadelphia basketball team.  The proposal bill board was located in a place where the one lady it was intended for would see it. The LeBron billboards were place approximately 7 miles away from where the Cavaliers play their home games on one of the roads leading to the stadium.

The outdoor billboard business is ready to handle any message on any subject for the most part. This path is for those that want to reach out and deliver their message to as many people as possible and for organizations looking to use this media source to accomplish their goals of informing the public.

For those in the outdoor bill board business, the costs are relatively low for this new approach to getting the message across. Most of the messages are simple words on vinyl and the graphics are basic. This increases the profit potential of each billboard rented and posted for the outdoor billboard business owner.

It is true the internet is a great place to advertise, but with the outdoor billboard campaigns using the social media and pictures of the signs, the billboard is still the backbone of the advertising industry and will remain so for the foreseeable future.


Outdoor Billboard Business e-book REVIEW

“The Billboard Guide – How to Make Money in Billboards” e-book Review

Billboard advertising has definitely stood the tests of time. Despite the introduction of new advertising mediums and broadcasting platforms, billboard advertising has endured and has even adapted the modernistic approach of the digital world. Over the years, billboards have advertised thousands of products from thousands of companies luring customers to buy their wares. The longevity of this industry is testament to ongoing billboard advertising effectiveness.

The Billboard Guide – How to Make Money in Billboards e-book is a complete guide on the billboard business. The e-book is a comprehensive guide that outlines not only the history of billboard advertising but also provides the detailed information regarding the types of billboards, billboard design, permits required and the restrictions involved in setting up billboards.

Outdoor Billboard Business

The Billboard Guide – How to Make Money in Billboards – ebook

The preface of the e-book outlines the content, and describes billboard advertising and its viability as a source of outdoor advertising. The book covers all aspects of outdoor advertising with respect to billboards, as well as providing information relevant to the setting up of a new outdoor billboard business. The author has provided real life instances and examples, and has successfully presented the information in a readable format to help the reader understand the subject matter.

The viability of any business is adjudged from its commercial valuation. Outdoor advertising, especially with billboards, is a profitable venture only if it is carried out with conviction, effort and in the right information. The e-book provides ways to convert existing billboards into profitable ones with a little tweaking. It also highlights the need to be extra-vigilant and smart in finding new locations for billboards, find the not-so-profitable locations that can be turned in your favor and ways to start the business with a minimal investment.

The Outdoor Billboard Business is not a get-rich-quick business venture but once established it is one of the most profitable businesses. There are no nagging tenants who call in the middle of the night. Instead there are advertising companies who lease billboards and are willing to pay a decent rental over the leased period to display billboard ads. So, it is a good business that needs to be handled with care initially and one that takes care of the owner later.

The Outdoor Billboard Business is not a get-rich-quick business venture but once established it is one of the most profitable businesses.

The e-book has very aptly described the history of outdoor advertising. The changes that the industry has seen over time are worth noting, and these changes remind us of the development that has taken place over the years.

The next section, regarding the standards of the billboard industry, provides important information, as it lays out the details on the types of billboards and the technology options that are available for those who are interested in the business. The section also provides information related to the establishment, upkeep and maintenance of the billboards.

In the next section, the e-book refers to the fixed rules that are applicable to the establishment of outdoor billboards. While the permits and zoning issues are localized issues pertaining to particular areas, the basic rules remain the same, no matter which area is being considered for outdoor advertising. Obtaining the basic permits is essential for outdoor advertising. The section deals comprehensively with the issues involved, and outlines the permits required for the business.

The Billboard Guide also guides the reader on how to put their plans to action. The next section of the e-book covers the negotiation aspect of outdoor advertising. The business owner has to deal with property owners, billboard owners and advertisers to establish a profitable venture. Dealing and negotiating with property owners is of prime importance and the e-book caters to this section very well, outlining industry standards and compensation amounts.

While in the earlier sections the e-book refers to the history of outdoor advertising, and the methods for dealing and negotiating with various parties in the business, the following section deals with the actual business of how to start billboard business ventures. The section outlines the details of how to start your outdoor billboard business by finding a relevant location for your billboards, working with advertisers and describing methods to put an agreement together. The basics of advertisement design, salesmanship, color usage, usage of web resources and effective messaging are outlined in this section of the e-book.

Lastly the book deals with the insurance coverage and the legal liabilities of the billboard owner. The Billboard Guide also deals comprehensively with the workers’ safety and provides details on how the billboard owners can safeguard their workers from any untoward incidents.

As the author’s involvement and experience with billboards spans a great number of years, some of the material referenced dates back some time. For example, the e-book makes reference to the most advertised names on billboards being that of Miller, McDonalds and Anheuser Bush, quoted from a survey conducted in 2003. However, it has also been updated with the most recent reports – that being that according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the top three companies advertising on billboards as of 2009 were McDonald’s, Verizon Long Distance and Pepsi. So whilst The Billboard Guide has been around for a number of years, the effort is being made to ensure the information is updated and relevant.

Although well-written, the e-book does not provide any bibliography or sources from where the information has been gathered. This appears to be due to the author being a long-time billboard owner and knowing much of the information first hand. Nonetheless the addition of the resources would be an enhancement to the e-book.

Overall, the author has successfully produced a complete guide on the outdoor billboard businss. Readers interested in knowing more about the outdoor billboard business can refer to The Billboard Guide for information related to the existing rules and permits required for this area of outdoor advertising. The addition of diagrammatic representations of billboards and the images of the various types of billboard structures certainly make the e-book an inspiring read, and a complete and helpful source of information for anyone involved in or thinking of entering the outdoor billboard business.