Rolling ads: Cool and clever or highway clutter?
People either thinks it’s a cool and clever way for a business to get the word out, or they believe it is so ugly it should be banned from our roads.
Steve Murden owns HI Impact Marketing, which operates three of the trucks. They feature rolling panels with rotating ads on three sides of the truck’s “cargo” area or are designed with a diorama-like depth that resembles old-style storefront display windows.
Murden’s “billboard trucks,” as he calls, them are proving popular with advertisers, hence his expansion from one to three vehicles in his first year of operation.
On the other side of the coin are town officials, many of whom seem to find the rolling billboards unsightly and in violation of town sign ordinances.
Murden reports Kill Devil Hills sent him some initial letters but has been “quiet” of late.
Nags Head not only sent letters to the entrepreneur, but at a recent Board of Commissioners meeting, Town Attorney John Leidy said the town was ready to assess fines. Notice of Violations had been sent to HI Impact.
Commissioner Doug Remaley was the lone voice at that meeting in favor of Murden, expressing the thought that chasing the business with letters and fines was a waste of resources.Prior to the 2007 crash, Murden, like so many others in Dare County, made a living in the construction trade. He and his wife have lived here for twelve years and they have three daughters and one son.
Murden is a decorated veteran of the Persian Gulf War. His wife is a pastry chef.
He tried other jobs after the crash and even worked at odd jobs to make ends meet, cleaning fences, windows, whatever he needed to do to collect a paycheck.
Murden has retained the services of two attorneys and he plans to make an appearance at the Sept. 13 Nags Head Board of Adjustments meeting.
He cites what has become known in the advertising business as the David vs. Goliath case of Bonita Media Enterprise vs. Collier County (Florida).
In that case, Bonita operated a truck exactly like Murden’s in the Naples area. The town cited the company with numerous violation notices and Bonita filed suit in state and federal courts.
The county cited the moving and rotating panels as a distraction, but a federal court issued an injunction against the county, citing free speech and burdensome regulation over a public roadway as outside the Constitution. In essence, the town’s sign ordinance could not apply to a mobile billboard operating on a public roadway.
According to a Sept. 9, 2008 report on the NaplesNews.com website, the Collier County commissioners voted to drop the suit and pay Bonita $225,000 in damages.
See what people are saying:
Join the discussion:
You must be registered and logged in to post a comment.