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Billboards: Looking for an off switch

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Main Line Suburban Life: Opinion
Billboards: Looking for an off switch

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

By Henry Briggs

While you were enjoying the cold rain this Saturday I was in 80 degrees and sunny L.A., enjoying … the inside of a conference room. Well, not for the whole weekend. We also shot a YouTube video of one of what LA Weekly estimates are 4,000 illegal local billboards.

As a newly minted board member, I went a meeting of Scenic America (, a nonprofit that grew out of Lyndon (and Ladybird) Johnson’s Highway Beautification Act. Remember those times? When idealism thrived on all sides of the political spectrum?

Since then the outdoor-advertising industry has grown exponentially, as has the nation’s cynicism. Of course linking the two directly would be unfair to politicians, other advertisers, major-league baseball, Wall Street…