Monthly Archives: September 2012

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A Brief History of Outdoor Advertising

Category : Billboard News

-September 24th, 2012
Digital Billboard1835: The first large outdoor poster in America debuted in New York when Jared Bell printed one for a circus. 

1850: Exterior advertising was first used on street railways.


1867: The first leasing of billboards was recorded.


1872: The International Bill Posters’ Association of North America was formed in St. Louis.


1900: A standardized billboard structure created in the U.S. ushered in a boom of national billboard campaigns. Big advertisers such as Palmolive, Kellogg and Coca-Cola began mass-producing outdoor messages from coast to coast.


1934: The industry established the Traffic Audit Bureau to provide advertisers with data to determine outdoor audience size.


1958: Congress passed the first federal legislation to voluntarily control billboards along Interstate highways. The law was known as the Bonus Act because states were given bonus incentives to control signs.


1965: President Lyndon Johnson signed the Highway Beautification Act into law. It controlled billboards on Interstate and some primary highways by limiting them to commercial and industrial areas and by requiring states to set size, lighting and spacing standards.


Digital Billboard

1970s: Billboard companies commissioned research on the creation of messages by computer. Ultimately, this led to computer painting on vinyl.


1990s: Digital technology allowed computer-painted outdoor advertising to replace hand-painted boards.


1999: Outdoor advertising for tobacco was banned.


2005: The first digital boards were installed.


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