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“Dirty Dancing” —Painting with a Wide Brush?

A Response to "Riding Dirty"

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Publishers Note:

We received a few comments regarding our Monday featured writer, Jim Johnsen’s OOH …Here’s One Thing, post yesterday titled, ‘Riding Dirty’.

Admittedly we liked Johnsen’s piece (even if we did not like what was written, we do not censor our writers) as we believe it points out a few of the unethical, illegal and flat out shenanigan’s pulled by some misguided members of the Out of Home Industry. Like the sentiment of the writer which follows, neither myself or Johnsen believe this is necessarily systemic in our Industry. Most experienced OOHomer’s who have been around a few years and in the thick of Outdoor have heard the stories. All of the issues mentioned in the post, I believe have occurred, as I have heard about them first hand from the parties involved on one side or the other. To the extent which it continues to happen, is anyone’s guess. Johnsen’s revelations were certainly informative to “the altar boys and choir girls” who expressed surprise to me in their phone calls, emails and text comments after reading the post. 

For another view point, we share these comments below from one of the top, most respected members of the OOH Industry and one of two men who gave me my first position in this glorious billboard business. 


Tom Carroll

“Dirty Dancing” —Painting with a Wide Brush?

Dear OOH Today:

I have always felt that effective leaders criticize their team when the entire team needs to be chastised, but they will meet directly with individuals when there is a specific problem within the team.  In other words, a sales manager doesn’t lambast the entire sales team for a lack of new business calls when he/she knows there are only one or two AE’s who aren’t making the new business effort.


Jim Johnsen’s “Riding Dirty” piece tarnishes an entire industry when he knows there are only a few culprits guilty of his accusations.  IMHO, it’s shoddy journalism.  It’s okay for him to call out the operators who are guilty of his charges, but it’s irresponsible for him to cast an industry-wide net of unethical behavior.

You and I both have some great stories from the “good old days.”  I would like to think that we both have had an impact cleaning up illegal or unethical behavior when we were in a position to do so.

Sorry, but you missed the boat by publishing this article about unspecific, abhorrent behavior.  The article implies that these activities are industry-wide and ongoing.  I disagree with that premise.  Unsubstantiated stories from “around the campfire” shouldn’t be the basis for giving our industry a black eye.  Also, there is no question that I am especially offended by the accompanying photo that is a clear reference to Detroit.

All the best.

Tom Carroll
Outdoor Advertising Solutions, LLC


Publisher’s Additional note:
Keeping with the rap theme, I considered the rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III, Eminem, when selecting a photo and not Detroit. The ‘8 Mile’ photo was my selection. Photos for OOH …Here’s One Thing are typically my selection. Neither myself or Jim Johnsen had any one market in mind and certainly not Detroit. My apologies to Tom Carroll and any Detroit Outdoor companies we may have offended with the photo. 

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  1. Thomas R Giesken says

    Great job Tom!!! There are many of us operators out here doing the best we can to do EVERYTHING by the book and making our industry a respectable one. No crimes here at GOA!!!!!

  2. Jim Johnsen says

    Tom, first of all thanks so much for reading my posts. Hopefully if you have read a few of them you know that I do not take myself too seriously nor do I consider myself a journalist but rather a small “supplier” to the industry who has spent the last 30 years hopefully helping people through some challenging transactions.

    So with that as background, I sincerely apologize to you, any other executive (or non executive for that matter) or the industry at large if I offended anyone with my “journal entry” this past week. In NO way was it an implication of the industry at large or meant to suggest that those activities were widespread within the industry. Quite the contrary. I will go on to say that in this industry, one bad apple does not spoil the bunch. The industry at large as well as local and state regulators (or in the case of agencies – media buyers) do a great job at ferreting out the bad apple quickly before it does spoil another one. The industry definitely needs to be commended for this!

    In Utmost Respect
    Jim Johnsen

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