You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Uglification spreads across nation’s highways

Re“Mass. gives the go-ahead for electronic billboards” (Page A1, Nov. 28): The poet Ogden Nash famously wrote:

“I think that I shall never see

A billboard lovely as a tree.

Indeed, unless the billboards fall

I’ll never see a tree at all.”

The inherent economics of billboard advertising requires exponential expansion to continue to attract notice and revenue (and draw eyes away from neighboring billboards). This can best be seen along most of the nation’s interstate highways (except in Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska).

Continue reading below

Mike Dukakis rightly emphasizes the uglification of Los Angeles. In addition, to travel Interstate 95 south all the way to Florida is to experience an unremitting cascade of taller, brighter, bigger, uglier, and more distracting commercial messages than any time in history.

It is all about profits for outdoor advertising giants such as Clear Channel and Lamar. It has little or nothing to do with helping local business, or local government budgets.

More is not better.

John Tener


Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of