This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Many Utah cities are trying to clamp down on electronic billboards. Here's the part of the story you probably didn't hear: This new advertising option is great for small advertisers.
Say there are 10 northbound billboards on Interstate 15 in the Salt Lake Valley. In any given month, 10 businesses would contract with a billboard company and pay from $5,000 to $10,000 per month for that space.
Since companies aren't allowed to build any more billboards, that limited supply means the price just keeps going up. In the future only big advertisers like Coca-Cola or Larry H. Miller will be able to afford billboards.
But with digital billboards, many smaller advertisers can afford to share that space because nobody has to climb up and hang a new ad. The messages on the electronic screen change every eight seconds. There's no animation, just static ads electronically sent to the billboard from a computer somewhere. It's hard to tell the billboard is even digital.
In an era when small business is under attack, the little guy needs a break. Digital billboards are just what we need.
Greg Jarrard Owner, Atomic Advertising Agency, Inc.