Billboard Alley

Between St Louis and Kansas City runs I-70 and the whole thing is lined with billboards hawking everything from hotels, to fireworks, to more hotels, to Mega Adult Stores and to even more hotels (Apparently there is nothing better to do between St Louis and KC than to sleep, to blow $#!@ up, to sleep some more and to, well.. I won’t go there.). In some spots there are even billboards that are raised even higher than the previous ones so you can see them over the lower ones that are in front of them.

If being constantly bombarded with ads wasn’t bad enough, there were several places where there was more than one billboard in a row that literally contained the exact same ad. Stone Hill Winery was especially egregious, having no less than 4 billboards in a close row and seven (maybe eight) planted within a half mile or so.

First off, let me pause here to point out that I’ve been around wine country… several times in fact… (One of the many reasons I’m now moving there on this roadtrip) but I’ve also tasted bottles from some of the finest wine growing regions in the world… Missouri is NOT one of them. In fact, I expect that if those annoying signs actually do work on especially gullible people and they do actually pull off the highway and into Stone Hill’s “Off Highway Tasting Room” (I kid you not!) like the sheeple they are, they probably will find themselves tasting out of boxes instead of bottles!

Anyways, back to my original point. At some point I told my SO/Co-Pilot that I wanted to start a movement where everyone boycotts the businesses that utilize billboards as a form of advertising. Her point was that the businesses being advertised shouldn’t be blamed any more than the companies who own the boards themselves (most of the ones we saw on this stretch appeared to be from two companies, Portier and Lamar).

A good point for sure, but grumbling to the billboard owners isn’t going to do much good. They could really care less as long as the checks keep clearing. So the only way to really get them to listen is if we hit their wallets. And the only way to do that is for the businesses who buy space on their boards to realize that it’s not just a losing proposition, but completely counter productive for them to take part in this out of control ruination of our landscape.

I say, it’s high time we take back our backyards and landscapes! Germany is a good example that we should follow, they have an active and concerned populace that refuses to be squawked at by billboards, beckoned to by gawdy mile high signage and annoyed by kitsch architectural farces like those hamburger huts one always finds near certain “Golden Arches” here in America.

I know that’s a bit of a rant, and i apologize if you feel like you suffered through it needlessly, but I-70 is only a piece of it, just look what these people are not only trying to do, but steadily succeeding at doing, to the internet. If they could implant their grandmother so she’d buy in the next ten minutes on command, they would!

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~ by ghendar on January 3, 2009.

One Response to “Billboard Alley”

  1. Perhaps you should change your name to Moon Unit and time warp back to the 60’s. Peace Brother

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