Can An Advertiser Rent A Sign Going The Wrong Way? Or 100 Miles Away?

So you have a billboard with one side facing traffic going into town. There’s a ton of potential advertisers, and it never seems to go empty. However, the other side is heading out of town and there are no immediate advertisers for miles and miles. How do you rent that type of sign?

Is this a point-of-purchase sale or something that you have to think about?

First of all, not all billboards have to be “point-of-purchase”. While McDonalds may necessitate “exit now” on the sign, a car dealer does not. Or a home builder. Or State Farm Insurance. So there are tons of potential advertisers – only you have to think “generically”. Make a list of all the big ticket items that people sell (goods and services) and all of them are potential candidates. Remember that people who drive by the sign each day going in to town will also see it later going out of town.

Is there a clever way to use the advertisement?

Sometimes you can come up with interesting ways to make the sign even more memorable. One great ad was one for Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The sign was going the wrong way and said “Carlsbad Caverns – U Turn and go back 200 miles”. It got a lot of attention and was much more effective than a normal advertisement.

Using price as a weapon

Any advertiser will consider any billboard if the price is cheap enough. I have rented signs that were attractive for no other reason than they were inexpensive. So if the sign has few players due to the direction, consider calling all the advertisers going the correct direction and see if they would do the opposite side for maybe 50% less. You will be surprised at how effective such a discount can be.

And don’t forget some advertisers who are very far away

Some advertisers actually like to rent signs that may be 100 miles away. One of the best known of these are truck stops. They like to reach truckers with massive advance notice, since truckers spend a huge amount of money on everything from gas to truck washes, and they plan very far ahead. If you have a sign that is in northern Texas, it’s possible that a truck stop in Oklahoma might be a player. Make a list of all those type of businesses and call on them.


You can rent any sign if you get creative about it. Don’t think for a minute than any sign does not have a long list of potential suitors. They’re out there, you just have to dig for them!

Frank Rolfe started his billboard company off of his coffee table, immediately after graduating from college. Although he had no formal training on the industry, he learned as he went, and developed his own unique systems to accomplish things, such as renting advertising space. Frank was formerly the largest private owner of billboards in Dallas/Ft. Worth, as well as a major player in the Los Angeles market.