WTT? Why haven’t mobile advertising trucks been banned yet?


Mobile billboard outside Sox Park. Photo by Sabrina Cesas.

[This piece originally ran in Time Out Chicago magazine.]

Q: Twice this past weekend I saw a huge eyesore in the streets: a car driving along with a giant flat screen TV on the back. First of all, this seems like an accident waiting to happen. Secondly, this is not Vegas! It looks trashy and obscene. My question: Is there a certain company that is responsible for dispatching these things all over the city? And is there a way I can stop the madness? — Amanda Petersen

A: A truck cruising the Viagra Triangle with an ad for the Admiral Theater featuring a stripper holding up two cinnamon rolls and the slogan “Hot buns served daily,” could, indeed, prove distracting to drivers. But Rod Harris, CEO of Virginia-based Truck Ads, says the right to operate mobile billboards is a free-speech issue. He adds that advertising trucks, including ones with LED screens, are usually owned by small Mom-and-Pops. “There are probably less than 2,000 [mobile billboard trucks] out of millions of commercial vehicles on the road, so relatively speaking it’s a nit.”

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