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All I Want for Christmas

My Turn by Nancy Fletcher

As I was counting my blessings this past Thanksgiving, I was thinking about what a great time it is to be in the outdoor advertising business. On a daily basis there are press stories that chronicle the growing outdoor audience, emerging new systems that validate the strength of the medium, and new technologies that enhance value, efficiency, and the environment.
Undoubtedly, the industry is ideally positioned for growth and vitality.  What’s more, we have the perfect opportunity to assuage public concerns about outdoor advertising in the regulatory environment and remove lingering doubts with citizens at large.  But we can’t do this without a full and unbridled commitment to best practices.
So what do I want for Christmas?  Here’s my list:
1.       Let’s commit to enhanced credibility by supporting new audience measurement.  Empirical quantitative measurements will be introduced in 2007 by the Traffic Audit Bureau to better determine exposure and effectiveness of outdoor advertising. Let’s commit to being a fully audited and measured industry.
2.       Let’s commit to a higher level of creative excellence in the “people’s space.” According to a recent OAAA survey, the greatest challenge for agency art directors is conveying brand messages effectively. This challenge is what makes good work so rewarding and what makes winning an OBIE so difficult.
3.       Let’s commit to a continuation of the outdoor advertising “facelift” in America. Let’s identify any old and tired-looking structures and upgrade them. Let’s find stacked 14 x 48 bulletins and reduce their size.
4.       Let’s commit to a new level of environmentally friendly business practices by using energy, lighting, and other materials more efficiently.
5.       Let’s commit to knowing more regulators and lawmakers.
6.       Let’s commit to restraint by turning down postings for sexually oriented businesses or advertising executions inappropriate for the community they serve.
7.       Let’s commit to creating a Crimestoppers program in every market so that outdoor advertising becomes synonymous with community safety.
8.       Let’s commit to developing digital signs that provide Amber Alert messages in an emergency, so outdoor advertising can actively aid in the recovery of missing children.
9.       Let’s commit to strong state outdoor advertising associations by becoming active participants. 
10.   Let’s commit to continued support of the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research & Education (FOARE), which helps to educate future leaders and promotes industry research initiatives.
If each company made these pledges, my Christmas wishes for a stronger industry would come true, but then again, so would yours.  An industry committed to excellence and social responsibility is a great industry.  And a great industry is highly respected and valuable and by default, profitable, too!
So do you have what it takes to commit?  As James Womack said, “Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.”
May all your dreams come true this holiday season!








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Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone, stated "Television and newspaper stories are good, but they are seen that day or hour and then are essentially over. But a billboard that's up every day for weeks or months may make an impression again and again and finally result in action that we otherwise wouldn't have got." Twelve billboards went up in Phoenix, AZ, on July 25 to help capture a serial killer.

Billboards Help Solve Crimes

America’s Most Wanted and OAAA Partnership Shows Results:
3 Captured Suspects in one year.
“Billboards really work,” states John Walsh, America’s Most Wanted.

Kansas City metro area ongoing Crimestoppers program:
Eight murder suspects featured on billboards have been apprehended in less than three years
The latest arrest occurred over Memorial Day weekend, prompted by tips from a “wanted” billboard

Has now spread to communities large and small:
After a jailbreak in Yakima County, WA (on November 25, 2005), two who remained on the lam were shown on a “wanted” billboard; they were in custody by mid-December
The latest communities to start using billboards to help police include Nashville and Milwaukee
“Absolutely,” Police Chief Sam Granato told Lamar Advertising District Manager Jenna Curtsinger. “The billboard was a huge factor in helping to capture the two remaining escapees.”



Copyright © 2006, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc.