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Thanks Al Gore. The Greatest Contribution to OOH History

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The Great Billboard Refinancing Act

Allow me to share a perspicacious view of the signing of the Highway Beautification Act by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, LBJ. The Highway Beautification Act or as the OOH Industry insiders refer as the Great Billboard Refinancing Act, was fundamentally legislated as restrictions to #billboards.

First, background.  The Highway Beautification Act was the social cause championed by the First Lady, LBJ’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson.  It was Lady Bird’s mission to clean up the highways of America.  The Act was created to limit billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising, as well as with junkyards and other unsightly roadside messes, along America’s interstate highways. Incidentally, Lady Bird owned a number of television and radio stations at the time. Among many things the restrictive legislation mandated was ‘Just Compensation’ for the removal of Billboard inventory.  As billboard owners removed their signs under the Highway Beautification Act, Congress required the states that adopted the federal restrictions, to pay the billboard owners immediately, in cash, with the payments being subsidized by the federal government.  As the Act required full cash payment to compensation for removals, ‘Just Compensation’ became significant dollars to the billboard operators.  Billboard owners were blessed with tremendous infusion of this new funding by the gov’t.  The Act allowed OOH Owners to remove the older, wooden and less attractive signs and recapitalize with better placed and steel structures.  It actually breathed new life into the OOH Industry.  Great strides for #billboards.

A side note: One of the champions of the bill was none other than the Al Gore, Sr., father of one of today’s self appointed ‘environmental activist’, Al Gore, Jr.

Thank you Lady Bird.  Long live #OOH !


William Board


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