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“I Have Seen The Enemy and He Is Us.”

Back to Boise to Settle The OOH Perspective

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OOH Today received a note yesterday from one of the ‘titans’ of the #OOH Industry, Patrick O’Donnell. O’Donnell is President of YESCO Outdoor Media. He shared his view-point regarding yesterday’s post on OMG! ‘Gentleman’s Club’ Back on the Street in Boise. It is an honor to receive his support, his comments and stand on the same side of this issue, as I suspect we are on most, as we share long-term interests in OOH defined by lifetimes and generations.

O’Donnell notes: “The attached expresses a view on your featured creative from my perspective as OAAA Legislative Committee Chairman. Thanks very much.”

Patrick O’Donnell
President
YESCO Outdoor Media
1605 South Gramercy Road
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104

 

 

 

February 14, 2019

“I Have Seen The Enemy and He Is Us.”

Patrick O'Donnellby Patrick O’Donnell
President
YESCO Outdoor Media

“I have seen the enemy and he is us.”

This week – from Boise — I’ve been reminded why our industry can earn a poor image in the eyes of communities, regulators, and yes, even advertisers.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Promoting sexually-oriented businesses, continuing to build double-stacks, erecting new telephone pole structures and not maintaining existing inventory are big negatives for our industry.  We also seem to lack the will to say no to creative that simply is a waste of the client’s money. We can’t help ourselves. Short-term gain outweighs long-term damage.

Promoting sexually-oriented businesses, continuing to build double-stacks, erecting new telephone pole structures and not maintaining existing inventory are big negatives for our industry

Nancy Fletcher, President and CEO of OAAA, has been asking industry leaders for over 20 years to adhere to some basic guidelines and practices that hold us in good stead with the communities we do business in. She is acutely aware of the damage that is done when we do not. Often, the fallout ends up on Capitol Hill and/or at statehouses around the country.

A year from now our company will celebrate its 100th birthday. It’s a big deal to us, something we’re proud of. It also means we have a culture that looks at our business from a long-term perspective. This is not to say we’re perfect. We’ve owned and acquired some inventory that was definitely not reflective of our business values. We’ve certainly posted copy that was less than stellar. However, it has been our goal to make every structure we own an easel that contributes, not detracts, to the art that is displayed on it.

A year from now our company will celebrate its 100th birthday. It’s a big deal to us, something we’re proud of. It also means we have a culture that looks at our business from a long-term perspective

I’m approaching my 40th year of working in the outdoor advertising business. I started in the field digging holes and installing painted Butler panels. I’ve seen with amazement the changes that technology has brought to our industry and the opportunities afforded us. YESCO erected the first digital billboard in Salt Lake City, UT, in 2001 hoping there would be a market for the product. What a fantastic ride.

Our industry has some of the finest people I’ve ever met. We have come so far, yet, in many respects, we’re no different from we were 40 years ago. It is time to take the long view and discard the practices that continue to stifle our growth as a collective. Let’s build quality, energy-efficient structures integrated with their surroundings and maintain them. Let’s say no to advertising that is not reflective of community values. Let’s be professional purveyors of our product and improve the quality and effectiveness of the creative we post.

Let’s say no to advertising that is not reflective of community values. Let’s be professional purveyors of our product and improve the quality and effectiveness of the creative we post.

Our industry will continue to prosper if we do the right things, build bridges with regulators and elected officials, and take responsibility as stewards of this great medium. It benefits no one if we continue to provide ammunition to adversaries.

(Pat O’Donnell is President of YESCO Outdoor Media and Chairman of OAAA’s Legislative Committee. He was inducted into the industry’s Hall of Fame in 2017.)

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. Thomas R Giesken says

    I totally agree!! Advertising these types of establishments only hurts our industry beyond even our perception. The challenge is when the times get tough. But if we continue to stick to our “industry” convictions, our medium will continue to rise and steal market share!!
    Stay Strong OOH!!!!!!!!

  2. Bill Board says

    “…beyond even our perception.” Thomas R Giesken, brilliant observations. Thank you.