The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

11 December 2006

Billboards from Hell


I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with being bombarded by advertisements and campaigns all the time, even when we’re driving we have radio commercials, advertising on buses and billboards. This may be annoying enough, but now, you are accosted while driving on the roads and motorways, to find yourself at the side of an enormous mobile billboard doing eighty miles an hour.

Yes that’s right, these are the trucks you see being driven through the streets where you live and work, with an enormous advertising hoarding on the back. I’ve even seen a car pulling a tall trailer with an advertising hoarding. Where do they come from? Why don’t they leave us alone with the already plentiful advertisement that exists?

The distractions of such mobile billboards must contribute to crashes on our roads. Since their aim is to travel as fast as possible, so as many people can see whatever they are advertising. This aim alone is a dangerous one, it may be a good way of getting business for car body repairs and car insurance by causing crashes. Is this a conspiracy of theirs?

There is good environmental grounds to stop these moving monsters, a Canadian company called "Downtown Montreal has over 30 billboard truck each day, travelling 2.34 million kilometres a year, burning over 400,000 litres of fuel and emitting 940,000 kg of carbon dioxide." That’s just one company.

What do you do if you see one, you can’t really miss them, or you shouldn’t be driving. It’s like those adverts you get through your e-mail for viagra and sex aids, you ignore the advertisement, well I hope you do. Here’s an action list.

1. Don’t buy from any company that advertises on mobile billboards. Don’t vote for any political party that uses mobile billboards.

2. Write to the company to complain telling them you won’t buy their product if they don’t stop it.

Let consumer power commence, and get rid of a bit of unnecessary traffic.

Need inspiration go to:

One less vehicle on our roads, every little bit helps.

If you have an idea or an issue you would like to raise, send it to


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