The Billboard Industry Thanked ‘3 Billboards’ Using ‘3 Billboards’-Inspired Billboards

On Sunday night, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scored Oscar wins for its stars, Frances McDormand (best actress) and Sam Rockwell (best supporting actor). The billboard industry thanked the film for bringing attention back to billboards with, well, a few Three Billboards-inspired billboards.

“We wanted to cheer on the movie with ‘billboard’ in the title, showcase capabilities of modern outdoor—to adapt quickly, change copy and display great creative—and then thirdly, to have some fun with this,” said Ken Klein, evp of government affairs at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), of the congratulatory billboards. “We probably won’t see this alignment, where there is a seven-time Academy Award-nominated film with ‘billboard’ in the title again, so we wanted to make hay while sun was shining.”

The film, which premiered last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, has been on the awards circuit for months; McDormand and Rockwell picked up hardware at nearly every major awards show, culminating Sunday evening with their Oscar wins. During that time, the film’s use of billboards—McDormand’s character uses three billboards to question the police department’s handling of her daughter’s murder—has inspired a number of copycats.

“The three billboards imagery became a visual meme in a short period of time as people expressed political opinions on things like gun control [after the shooting in] Parkland, Fla. or the apartment fire in London,” said Klein. “It connected to culture in a short amount of time.”

While the OAAA didn’t use the same three-billboard tactic as the film, it did try to mimic the graphics with all-caps black lettering on a red background for the congratulatory billboards. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Extra Credit Projects handled the creative. The OAAA also used congratulatory billboards for the film after other awards shows including the Golden Globes (above).

Anti-Brexit billboards appear across the UK

A poster campaign by anti-Brexit activists got under way in earnest this week, with billboards appearing throughout the country urging the public to speak out over the Government’s hard Brexit policy.

The campaign group Stop the Silence raised more than £70,000 via crowdfunding to pay for the posters, which have been erected in areas such as London, Bournemouth and Cardiff over the past few days.

Writing on Facebook, the group said: “This campaign encourages peers to listen to the people as it considers safeguards to guarantee that the final deal will be in the best interests of the people.

“The campaign and group aim to influence the character and quality of debate in Parliament over the next two years, in a way which fully engages and involves the views of the entire electorate, much of which has diverse expectations of the Brexit process.

“The campaign intends to emphasise the foundational British values of open debate and tolerance, where ongoing democratic dialogue must remain accessible, and available, to all of its citizens.


In two separate incidents over the past months officials of SANRAL and officials of eThekwini Municipality took the law into their own hands and started removing advertising structures belonging to two outdoor companies. These illicit removals were recently stopped by the courts.

As long ago as 2002 a full bench of the KZN High Court ruled that city officials may not remove advertising structures without a court order.  In the case of African Billboard Advertising (Pty) Ltd v North and South Central Local Councils, Durban the  High Court ruled that:

“The principle applies equally to the rights of public bodies such as municipalities or provincial councils or any similar bodies, and even to State Departments. Individual members of a State Department normally cannot, in the interest of their Department, take the law into their own hands and enforce State rights without the State having made use of the assistance of its judicial Department in order to help it to acquire possession of property to which the State may be entitled.”

In December 2017 officials of the eThekwini Municipality took the law into their own hands and started removing billboards of Strawberry without a court order. This was despite an interdict awarded to Strawberry prior to the removal. eThekwini went back to court to have the interdict discharged without notifying Strawberry and then continue with the removal before they were interdicted again on 23 December where the court granted a temporary order. On 19 February 2018, the matter was again before the court and the interdict was made permanent. The said billboards were all on Provincial Roads and was installed in terms of approvals granted by the KZN Provincial Government.

In 2018 SANRAL followed the same unlawful behaviour where they start braking down billboards on bridges that belong to the municipality of Ekurhuleni who also approved the said advertising structures. The outdoor company was Jinja Outdoor who obtained an urgent temporary interdict against SANRAL on Saturday 3 February 2018 in the South Gauteng High Court.

There are more complex legal issues at stake like jurisdiction etc but this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the courts. Both parties indicated that they have suffered substantial damages to their structures as well as the loss of advertising revenue and they are obtaining legal advice with the view of suing the state entities for damages. If such damages are to be granted by court it would be borne by the us, the taxpayers.


Twenty-eight (28) media companies have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions, in contravention of the Competition Act. Amongst them is 4 outdoor companies.

The matter relates to an investigation that was initiated in 2011 which found that, through the Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC), various media companies agreed to offer similar discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies that place advertisements with MCC members. MCC accredited agencies were offered a 16.5% discount, while non-members were offered 15%.

In addition, the Commission found that the implicated companies, through MCC, employed services of an intermediary company called Corexalance (Pty) Ltd (Corex) to perform risk assessments on advertising agencies for purposes of imposing a settlement discount structure and terms on advertising agencies.

The Commission found that the practices restricted competition among the competing companies as they did not independently determine the discounts and thereby fixed the price and trading terms in contravention of the Competition Act.

In referring the matter to the Tribunal for prosecution, the Commission seeks an order declaring that the media companies contravened the Act and are liable to pay penalties in terms of the Act.

Of the 28 media companies the four outdoor companies are Primedia, Comutanet, Continental Outdoor and ProVantage.

Meanwhile, Independent Media (Pty) Ltd (Independent), Caxton & CTP Publishers and Printers Limited (Caxton) and DStv Media Sales (Pty) Ltd (DStv Media Sales) have admitted to the charges in relation to this same matter. Among others, the media companies agreed to pay administrative penalties as part of separate settlement agreements with the Commission:

  • ·  Caxton agreed to pay R5 806 890.14 (five million eight hundred and six thousand eight hundred and ninety rand and fourteen cents);
  • ·  Independent agreed to pay R2 220 603 (two million two hundred and twenty thousand six hundred and three rand); and
  • ·  DStv Media Sales agreed to pay R22 262 599 (twenty two million, two hundred and sixty two thousand, five hundred and ninety nine rand).

The companies also agreed to contribute towards the Economic Development Fund over the next three years. The Fund seeks to develop black owned small media or advertising agencies that require assistance with start-up capital and will assist black students with bursaries to study media or advertising, among others. It will be managed by the Media Development and Diversity Agency.

Caxton will pay R2 090 480.45 (two million ninety thousand four hundred and eighty rand and forty five cents); Independent will pay R799 417 (seven hundred and ninety nine thousand four hundred and seventeen rand); and DStv Media Sales will pay R8 million.

“This is one of the legacy media practises that survived the introduction of the Competition Act in South Africa. It is a problem because it consolidates operations of a few media houses that gang up against mainly small advertising agencies. It is encouraging that some media houses have settled the matter and will also be directly contributing towards promoting the entry of small and black advertising agencies,” said Competition Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele.


Trish Guilford gears up for a new role at OMC

With over 25 years of experience and involvement in the media industry, Trish Guilford has recently been named as the new General Manager of the Out of Home Measurement Council (OMC).

For the last three years, Trish has been consulting and freelancing in addition to being in a partnership with VML South Africa – developing their integrated media offering. She has worked on numerous key clients focusing on writing strategies and implementation over the years, and has been considerably involved in the industry having formerly been a lecturer at both the AAA School of Advertising and Boston Media House. She is a member of the Advertising Media Forum and has previously served on the AMASA (Advertising Media Association of South Africa) committee.

“Out of Home advertising is an exciting industry and I am looking forward to driving the OOH currency to improve accountability and measurability of OOH formats. After so many years in the media industry, I believe that this opportunity will allow me to give back to an industry which has been good to me for over two decades”, Trish said.

In essence, the OMC produces comprehensive research covering the key OOH areas through its valuable Roadside Outdoor Audience Data (ROAD). Explaining the significance of this research, Trish added, “With the current industry research changes, we have a golden opportunity to position OOH as a media type that has robust research and the OOH industry can now be accountable for the impact that the medium brings to a campaign”.

Dave Roberts, the CEO of Primedia Outdoor, strongly gave Trish a vote of confidence, “We look forward to embarking on this journey with Trish in revolutionalising the OOH industry over the coming years and she will undoubtedly play a key role in advising both media owners and media agencies to formulate solid arguments for OOH opportunities to clients”.


Tractor Outdoor expands on their LOOP digital network

Tractor Outdoor is pleased to announce that they have added a third digital screen into the LOOP Network.

Consumers are being drawn to spend more money on digital campaigns, especially now that digital is making an extreme impact on the OOH market. South Africa’s OOH advertising market will reach an estimated total value of R5.1bn by 2019, with DOOH generating approximately R1.7bn of this amount, according to PWC’s OOH upcoming predictions research. With the addition of a third digital site to the LOOP network this has grown Tractor’s portfolio significantly.

“The new site is located in Somerset West. It targets Somerset Mall, Strand Beach, Strand Golf Club and the local area at large. Our development team is hard at work filtering through existing and new structures in order to further add to this network. We are extremely excited to see what the next few months are going to reveal,” says Ben Harris, rights and development director at Tractor Outdoor.

TRANSIT.TV celebrates 10 years

Shamy Naidu, Executive: Transit Ads™ outlines the milestones on the growth trajectory of national digital television channel TRANSIT.TV™.

In 2007 Provantage Media Group launched an in-taxi television channel called Provantage Transit TV. It aired in 500 taxi nationwide to an audience of just over 2 million consumers in the primary metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape. The channel offered entertaining, informative and relevant content. The idea was borne out of a marketing need for a unique out of home visual communication touchpoint that ran 365 days a year to a highly sought-after commuter audience.

The groundbreaking medium entered the out of home arena when advertisers worldwide were adopting digital media networks as an innovative method of growing their reach and frequency in a fragmenting media landscape. TRANSIT.TV™ provided advertisers with the opportunity to engage consumers in a captive environment where there is a high dwell time and a very low-tune out factor. It was this ability that propelled the growth of digital networks, both internationally and in South Africa.

As a result of infrastructural investment and development, by 2013 the South African transit environment had started to rapidly transform into a more fully integrated transport environment. In line with this change, TRANSIT.TV™ was upgraded and expanded to meet the new realities, and provide advertisers with increased exposure opportunities. The channel went live in all the major PRASA intermodal nodes, namely Park Station (Johannesburg), Durban Berea Station, Pretoria Station and Cape Town Station. Numerous months of on-the-ground research and planning ensured that each screen was positioned strategically in key viewing and high dwell time areas within the station environments, in order to secure maximum exposure and recall for brands.

In 2015 TRANSIT.TV™ reached a key milestone: viewership of the digital place based network reached an audience of 10 million commuters monthly. The channel was making a significant impact for a variety of brands that continue to be clients today. From pharmaceutical, to FMCG, to retail and fast food offerings, brands were experiencing the significant impact the channel provided in terms of sales, brand loyalty and messaging recall.

Since then, TRANSIT.TV™ has continued on its upward growth trajectory and currently broadcasts to in excess of 13 million viewers every month, making it the largest digital place based network in South Africa. Viewers are economically-active, influential and technologically savvy and as such the content is continuously updated to ensure that it is relevant, entertaining and engaging. This ensures eyeballs on screens and high recall when it comes to advertising messaging.

Ten years ago Provantage Media Group’s TRANSIT.TV™ was at the forefront of DOOH and digital place based networks. OOH is a media amplifier – extending the reach and frequency of integrated campaigns, and driving mobile, social and digital engagement better than any other advertising medium. TRANSIT.TV™ as a key OOH touchpoint is driven by connectedness, using technology to strengthen engagement between brands and consumers, and offering connected networks and platforms. TRANSIT.TV™ is data-driven, using geo-location, audience measurement and advanced data analytics for better targeting, insights and ROI.

The channel offers advertisers massive reach, excellent frequency, geographical targeting as well as a captive audience that regularly experiences long dwell times. For more information on TRANSIT.TV ™call me on 0861 776 826 or email or go to


Rajant Kinetic Mesh provides uninterrupted wireless broadband for vehicles in motion

Adding yet another element to its wireless convergence capabilities, MiRO has been appointed as a distributor for Rajant Kinetic Mesh® network products. The distributorship agreement, which was finalised in early 2018, sees MiRO strategically increasing its market penetration into mobility focused wireless solutions for mission-critical systems in industrial, defence, municipal, rail and maritime ports.

“MiRO will distribute and stock Rajant’s entire range of Kinetic Mesh® products. This is advantageous to potential new Kinetic Mesh Partners operating in market verticals that will benefit from the always–connected-always-mobile nature of this technology. Backed by our impressive technical skill-set and extensive experience in the wireless communications industry, MiRO is excited about the opportunities that this product enables,” says Marco de Ru, commercial manager for MiRO.

Using a combination of BreadCrumb® wireless network nodes and the InstaMesh® proprietary mesh protocol, Rajant Kinetic Mesh® networks employ wired, wireless or in-motion any-node to any-node capabilities to continuously and instantaneously route data using the best available traffic path and frequency in real-time, for any number of nodes. Rajant BreadCrumbs delivers low-latency, high-capacity, fully-mobile, voice and video applications across a meshed, self-healing network.

The InstaMesh protocol dynamically optimises performance as network characteristics change, whether nodes are added or removed, frequencies are opened or blocked, or the assets it connects move. Whilst InstaMesh leverages a proprietary algorithm, it maintains the option to enable 802.11n based Wi-Fi by emulating up to 4 SSIDs per RF interface.

A further benefit is that unlike legacy mesh networks that degrade performance as nodes are added, Kinetic Mesh® networks strengthen with each additional node. Nodes also self-configure for easy deployment. “Our Kinetic Mesh technology uses multiple frequencies via multiple transceivers. The technology, originally developed for the military, is extremely robust and ideal for use in applications that demand ruggedness to maximised uptime,” says De Ru.

BarTalk India to unveil real-time social display network

BarTalk India, a revolutionary digital innovation, is out to let the millennials take their love ‘story’ to a world beyond their smartphones this Valentine’s Day. BarTalk’s operations were first unveiled with the successful Don’t Drink & Drive initiative in association with Delhi Police.

BarTalk India, is a Millennial Display Network driven by user generated content, connected real-time across the most trending bars in Delhi. It is the first real-time social display network that weaves millennials lifestyles into an ecosystem which redefines how one socialises, shares, connects and influences. With influencer marketing at its peak, It also opens a new world to brands which enables them to connect with millennials and weave their brand story like never before through its automated display platform.

Spread across the most trending bars of Delhi-NCR, BarTalk’s innovative digital canvas lets people know their ‘story’ is important and worth sharing with an audience larger than their immediate social circle.

As BarTalk India opens its platform to the public on Valentine’s Day on February 14, its Founder & CEO Gautam Bhirani, said: “People are important and so are their stories. BarTalk India is a millennial display network driven by user-generated content. It’s a canvas where people and their stories meet.”

“Today, socialising has become an inescapable phenomenon. Wednesday is the new Saturday. To be out and seen is a lifestyle today, and this trend has given birth to a new generation; The Digital Diners. From culinary paparazzi, trending selfies and group pictures — people create content and share it all the time to be liked, admired and influence peers.

“BarTalk India helps you take that experience to a world bigger and beyond cellphones. It will redefine how you socialise where these valuable stories can influence your social circle.

“Personalisation is a key ingredient when connecting with the millennials, who like it when they are made to feel special. That is exactly what BarTalk does – We make people feel special and it couldn’t have been a better day to launch our platform when thousands of couples would be out and celebrating with their special ones. And for the ones who are single, you never know how a good selfie at our partner bar can bring up a total surprise for you.”

Umang Tiwari, Founder, Big Fish Ventures, said, “BarTalk is a great innovation in the F&B space and a wonderful way to connect to our customers. Our outlets are flooded with youngsters who love to click and share. From this breakthrough in digital innovation our customers this Valentine’s Day will get a platform at our outlets which will make their special stories at our bar even more memorable by seeing it live on large digital displays.”

Priyank Sukhija, Managing Director, First Fiddle Restaurants, said, “Valentine’s Day is special for everyone who is in love and thus gets super special for as at First Fiddle restaurants. To make this day even more special, BarTalk India opens its platform for all of you with a live Valentine’s Day Wall across all our outlets.”

Rahul Singh, Managing Director, The Beer Cafe said, “BarTalk is a very thoughtfully constructed display network that taps a restaurant’s ecosystem really well. It is a conduit which is capable of connecting us with our customers in a delightful manner. It acts as a catalyst in our effort of building a responsible community culture.”

D.C. Council member proposed bill that would have helped firm that offered his son an internship

D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) proposed legislation that would have benefited an outdoor advertising company after the firm offered a paid summer internship to his son, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Communications between Evans, a 27-year veteran of the D.C. Council, and Digi Outdoor Media, took place in 2016 and are detailed in 41 pages of emails between the lawmaker’s office and the company, which were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request and first reported by District Dig.

The company offered to hire Evans’s son, then 19, shortly before Digi’s founder ran into trouble with city regulators, who found his company’s LED-illuminated signs downtown were illegally constructed.

The younger Evans ultimately didn’t take the internship. But months later, his father proposed a bill to legalize the type of signs Digi wanted to install. Evans withdrew the legislation because of a lack of support.

D.C. ethics laws prohibit the use of public office for private gain, giving preferential treatment or actions that create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The first mention of the internship in emails between Evans and Digi Outdoor founder Don MacCord came on March 1, 2016.

“Jack remember we would love to have your son as [an] intern this year with Digi,” MacCord wrote in an email to Evans and his chief of staff, Schannette Grant, adding that his son would be “a great addition to the team.”

Two months later, MacCord reminded the council member that his company had set aside a spot for his son on its creative and marketing team.

“My son . . . is interested in the summer intern job,” Evans replied the next morning. The son of the council member met with MacCord in early June to discuss the job — a meeting arranged by Evans’s chief of staff.

Afterward, MacCord asked Evans for his son’s email and address to send him an offer letter for the $20-an-hour marketing internship starting June 27. The company emailed the offer letter on June 17 and forwarded it to the council member and his chief of staff.

While MacCord was communicating with Evans about that job, property owners in the District working with his company were securing city permits for brackets for large LED outdoor signs.

Historical preservationists and community groups opposed the signs and city officials said the permits didn’t cover such installations.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs revoked the permits and issued stop-work orders in July and August 2016. The attorney general’s office in late August sued the property owners and Digi Media Communications.

At the D.C. Council’s Dec. 6, 2016, meeting, Evans filed a notice for emergency legislation to legalize the type of installations made by Digi Outdoor Media, a bill he later withdrew.

In an interview, Evans said the offer of a summer internship had no bearing on his decision to introduce the legislation.

“There’s no connection between any of this stuff,” he said. “There was no summer internship . . . and no legislation. My puzzlement is there’s no real story other than none of this happened.”

Evans said he could not remember why he proposed the legislation in the first place. “We do hundreds of pieces of legislation down here,” he said.

Evans supported other companies that wanted to install large electronic billboards near Nationals Park , over the objection of neighborhood activists.

MacCord, who resigned last year, referred questions to a spokeswoman for Digi Media Communications, who declined to comment.

The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, which has the power to investigate council members for ethical transgressions, declined to comment on the events or say whether the agency would investigate.

Government ethics experts say the internship offer raises eyebrows.

“There was at least an implicit agreement for a paid internship and Jack Evans had prepared emergency legislation to introduce to benefit the same company,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the good government advocacy group Public Citizen. “That is too close of a correlation to just dismiss as incidental.”

Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University who previously served as an ethics lawyer for D.C. government, called it “swampy behavior.”

“His son was offered an internship by an entity that had a significant matter before the council,” she said. “Just like they are not supposed to offer a council member a vacation or another kind of gift, you can see an offer of a job to the son could be a way to curry favor with the council member in a way that has nothing to do with the public ­interest.”

Jessica Levinson, an ethics expert at the Loyola Law School at Los Angeles, said it’s understandable that a father would want to help his son but that Evans should have disclosed the potential conflict of interest.


Evans, who has been reelected seven times, said people with business before the council routinely try to build relationships with him but he remains focused on residents.

“My record speaks for itself that I represented my constituents very well,” he said. “That’s what happens when you are an elected official: You get contacted by people all the time.”