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What's In A Name?

Billboard magazine, the entertainment industry publication, traces its roots to outdoor advertising. In the beginning, late last century, the rag catered to the buyers and suppliers of billboard posters, "hawking the claims of patent medicines and announcing the circus was coming to town," as The Denver Post put it in an article coinciding with the weekly's 100th anniversary. Billboard got its start as the aptly-named Billboard Advertiser, the brainchild of William H. Donaldson and James F. Hennegan, two printers' sons looking to foster a sense of community among advertisers and printers. Their magazine presumably filled the, mm, bill, first appearing on November 1, 1894. It ran eight pages and cost a dime.

Elevated Advertising

In 1867, a nationwide painting and posting service for outdoor advertisers was founded in New York. Not so coincidentally, that same year, New York City's elevated railroad system (the El) began operating, providing ample high-traffic space for out-of-home advertising. The trade became serious, if not yet respectable, when The International Bill Posters Association of America was founded in St. Louis in 1872. The group's monthly journal, the Bill Poster, duked it out with Billboard until the former's demise in 1931.

A Sticky Matter

According to eller media, an outdoor advertising buying service, a 'directional signage bulletin' ("Seven miles to Ethel's Diner") in a Nebraska cornfield may cost just $200 a month. But put up a decent-sized billboard in Times Square and you're out almost 150.000 clams a month, and you'd have to sign a multi-year contract. Leave a little room in your budget for the glue: A standard-sized building-side vinyl bulletin or billboard will need approximately 200 gallons of the stuff, we are told.

Tequila Mocking Board

April marks a new Cliff Freeman & Partners outdoor campaign for Hornitos tequila, a Mexican staple touting itself as "Real Mexican." For four hours a day in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, a mariachi band will play alongside a billboard, serenading the drink's heritage.

Thankfully, the agency abandoned an idea for ads showing Mexicans illegally crossing the U.S. border, and labeling those images "Real Mexican." But that doesn't mean the Freeman folks can't have a poco of fun with this account.

Other Hornitos outdoor ads will feature "Real Mexican Dirt," a "Real Mexican Bean," (there's no word on whether or not it jumps) and "Real Mexican TV." There are plans to buy the rights to a Mexican soap opera or game show and run the