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).


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.

Get Arguable with Jeff Jacoby in your inbox:
Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

More is not better.

John Tener


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

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 BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com