Out of home advertising is a growing $6.8 billion industry; the OAAA anticipates sustained growth in
A tiny fraction of billboards are digital (500-plus out of an estimated
450,000 total billboards in the United States).
Over the next few years, it is
anticipated that several hundred digital displays may be built each year.
Copy changes on billboards;
digital technology is a means for changing static copy.
Digital billboards display
static messages that resemble standard painted/printed billboards when
Digital billboards do not
feature animation, flashing lights, scrolling, or full-motion video.
standards are reflected in the OAAA Code
of Industry Practices to ensure that commercial and noncommercial
messages disseminated on standard-size digital billboards will be
static messages and the content shall not include animated, flashing,
scrolling, intermittent or full-motion video elements.
of Digital Billboards
can deliver emergency and law-enforcement
AMBER Alerts to
find missing children
information to help police find fugitives
can deliver real-time information.
billboards promote local businesses, and most of those are considered
billboards can adapt quickly in fast-changing, competitive
interest rates or mortgage rates
for advertisers to target and purchase by day part, location or
no longer have printing and shipping costs.
advertisers can share prime locations.
boards create demand for high-tech jobs.
In 1996, the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a memo that said
changeable-message billboards are acceptable if allowed by state-federal
agreements. Most states allow changeable-message billboards.
"dwell time" (typically six or eight seconds) and spacing
The Virginia Tech
Transportation Institute (VTTI) study released in early 2004 said that
billboards do not significantly affect
driver behavior. Lead researcher, Dr. Suzanne E. Lee, concluded that
neither visual behavior nor driving behavior changes
measurably, even in the presence of the most visually attention-getting
says that tri-action billboards do not pose distraction problems. (FHWA, commenting in the Federal Register regarding a change in the
federal-state agreement with the State of
, to allow tri-action billboards. Federal Register, Volume 67, No. 63,
April 2, 2002/Notices)
The AAA Foundation for
Traffic Safety has done extensive research on distraction. A major study
based on crash data and prepared for the Foundation by researchers at the
said items such as CB radios, billboards, and temperature controls are not
significant distractions. (
"The Role of Driver Distraction in Traffic Crashes," Page 33,
prepared by University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center,
Chapel Hill, NC (2001)
Advertising Association of America