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April 15, 2009

Lamar Billboard and the Protocol of the Triple Dog Dare

(#1 in a series of 5 including Lamar, Billboards, Advertising and Supply & Demand, Advertising and Propaganda, and Advertising and the Information Age.)

Billboards are in the news in Pittsburgh over the last year. I had a billboard experience this week that I'd like to mention.

generic Outdoor BillboardLast weekend I saw a billboard (locally) in an inappropriate location; the sign was fine, it was just unacceptable in that setting.

I don't think it was placed there intentionally. I imagine somebody bought billboard space along highways in a certain number of cities. The ads are delivered in big rolls of paper. The guy in the truck puts things where he's told. There's more confusion than strategy in this.

I wrote a snarky blog entry about it, but I didn't think it was right to go direct to blogging. It seemed like a breach of protocol, like escalating to the triple-dog-dare without going through the intermediate steps. I saved the blog entry as a draft, and Sunday night I sent Lamar (and their client) the photograph and an email explaining why that sign was inappropriate in that location. I thought, if they don't respond then I'll blog about it, but if it was me I'd want to have the chance to address the issue first.

Monday morning they sent me an email thanking me for my note, and assuring me the billboard would be gone by Friday. There was no quibbling or fogging. Tuesday morning when I passed by the sign the offending advertisement was gone, replaced with another. Wow. They promised Friday and delivered Monday.

I may not be objective, but I am an objector, and when you object to bad things then you also bear a duty to identify and praise good things. I salute Lamar Outdoor for their speedy responsiveness.

Lamar Graphicsthumb's up

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