Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Billfolds vs. Billboards

I sent the following letter off to The Oregonian yesterday.

I had a letter to the editor printed last week, and, quotas being quotas, I doubt the editors will print this one.

Still, I think it is worth sharing here.

Your front-page story in Sunday’s paper (“Billboards pit Beauty vs. Business”) fails to mention the single most effective weapon against billboards.

We all carry it around with us. It’s a wallet or a pocketbook.

Using the Internet, it is relatively easy to organize a community to prove to advertisers that offensive, blighting advertising is counterproductive — to show them that it will lose, not make, them money.

Post the phone numbers of CEOs or managers on the Internet for easy reference. Encourage readers to phone to say that they and their neighbors vow publicly to take their business elsewhere unless the billboards come down.

If that fails, trump billboards with your own signs using a good old-fashioned picket line. Bottom-line: Businesses should be openly and systematically held accountable in the marketplace for the methods and content of their advertising.

Rick Seifert
SW Portland

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