Thursday, April 14, 2011

At What Point Does A Product Or Service Become Useless?

The scientific results of a poll showing how often outdoor billboards are actually used makes you wonder how much longer we can afford them.

The poll showed that less than one in ten North Carolinians use them a few times a week to decide on a product or service, one in five use them a few times a month and nearly seven out of ten never use them.obsolete

A hundred years ago they may have seemed quaint or humorous but already states were curbing them. At what point do they become obsolete? At what point are they no longer worth the blight they bring to roadsides and communities?

At what point do we pull the plug because North Carolina’s scenery is so much more valuable as a cornerstone of the state’s $17 billion tourism economic sector?

At what point will the economic value of the trees and vegetation swathed so they are visible be worth more than the billboards in their ability to remove pollutants from the air and clear storm run-off?

At what point do advertisers realize that it isn’t worth reaching such a tiny segment of the population while irritating the the vast proportion who responded to the poll that outdoor billboards are a detraction and distraction?

At what point will legislators and local officials say enough is enough, even for the small amount of “parasitic” property right involved.

At what point will outdoor billboard owners take management guru Peter Drucker’s advice and pull the plug on them as an obsolete service?

We now have a benchmark so will it be when the proportion of population that finds them completely useless inches up from 68% to 75%? It is only a matter of time.

If I were in or owned stock in a business that owns outdoor billboards, I’d be divesting as fast as possible. Being in the business of irritating people doesn’t have a future.

In the meantime, to keep billboards out of landfills, let ReMakes, an incubator for environmentally-sensitive consumer products, recycle them into hundreds of unique placemats.

1 comment:

CitizenJohn said...

Don't forget the Rules Hearing for SB183 Jan. 19 being held by NCDOT at the Wake Commons Complex. Expected time is 7:00PM. Wake Commons is just east of the Raleigh Beltway off of Poole Rd.,
1st left on Carya Drive. Make your voice heard. The billboard companies want no rules, no trees, and the public to bear all costs of administering this stupid bill.