New Laws … And Who Designed that Outdoor Billboard?

July 2, 2012

By Bill Duggan

There’s an interesting story on titled “July 1 brings new, sometimes quirky laws.” 

Here are a couple of odd ones:

  • In Vermont, minors (under 18) will be prohibited from using tanning beds.
  • In Minnesota, a law increases penalties for transporting certain aquatic invasive plants and animals.

Relevant to the marketing and advertising industry, a new local ordinance in Virginia requires electronic messages on outdoor advertising to remain in place for at least eight seconds to avoid driver distractions.  I like that new law!

Today’s electronic outdoor billboards are terrific as the image quality is very good and they provide the opportunity to rotate multiple creative units.  But I do admit, sometimes the timing of the rotations can be too fast and that shortchanges the advertiser and is a distraction to the driver. Also, it's my personal opinion that billboard design is somewhat of a lost art – there are just too many outdoor ads with either too many words or type too small.

Now if only I could get an electronic message near a road construction site on route 208 in New Jersey to change that says, “Road construction to start on or about December 23.”  Why, on earth, has that not been updated more than six months later?  That’s what you call a driver distraction!

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