Distracting Billboards

Any city across the world is dotted with billboards. Products consider them as simple ways of reaching their target audience.

In big cities, the billboards get bigger, more bolder and dashing. And sometimes distracting.

I came across two news articles last week, where such billboards - from London to Los Angeles - are set to distract drivers.

The first one is an advertisement for the shoe major - Reebok. The British supermodel - Kelly Brook - is posing in nothing but a pair of Reebok shoes.

Needless to say, the advertisement is bound to garner attention. But the sad fact is that drivers of vehicles - like the bicycle rider in the picture above - are  bound to get distracted from what they are supposed to do - drive!!.

The product is bound to get attention - courtesy Miss Brook, and see its sales sky rocketing. 

God forbid, if an unfortunate accident occurs, and is later attributed to this billboard, it would negatively impact the product. It can also have an damaging impact on future sales.

Previous research by Canadian scientists found that accident rates rise by up to 50% after advertising hoardings were erected at busy junctions, highlighting the dangers of roadside distractions.

But maybe its the short term benefits which make the products take up such sizzling and risky advertisements.

Moving to Los Angeles. 

The Israeli model, Bar Refaeli, is supposed to have shot an advertisement for the swim wear range Agua Bendita.

The pictures of the photo-shoot are out. The billboards are not yet in place.

But then, when these billboards will dot the LA skyline, they are bound to deflect the driver attention from their primary job - driving!! And result in bumper to bumper traffic jams.

At one end of the spectrum, you have the Government agencies banning usage of cellphones while driving.  Why? Because they are found to have distracting effects on the drivers.

But then why cant these same agencies ban these distracting advertisements dotting the skyline?

Well, the reason is that we live in a highly commercialized age.

Products invest huge bucks in their development. And to get back the money and make a decent profit, they need to sell. Advertisements are a must to make the people aware of the product. And such advertisements are considered to be a sure fire way of gaining the required attention.

Here is a look at some of such billboards which have had an distracting effect on the drivers across the world.

First one is a Megan Fox ad for Emporio Armani in LA.

Now, Armani is a brand which has a name and a reputation. But yet it had to rely on such sultry advertisements to sell. Was it needed?

Maybe, Yes. Maybe, No.

Next is an advertisement for a lingerie brand.

The brand probably decided to sell it's product with an attractive advertisement, but later realized that its advertisement could have some detrimental effects on the drivers.

They came up with a pair of attractive billboards.

Although the last billboard had a few words of caution, those words wouldn't have had the required impact. How can you keep your eyes on the road when the words of caution are on the billboard itself?

After all, have the number of smokers in the world reduced even though the tobacco companies have been displaying words of caution prominently on their products?

Well, you know the answer.

One thing is sure. Such advertisements are not going to stop. If you are a driver, beware of taking off your eyes from the road to have a look at the advertisements.

But maybe a stop at the red signal can be a good alternative to check out the attractive advertisements. But then, don't let these billboards distract your attention for long. After all, it is nothing but visual delight.
Distracting Billboards Distracting Billboards Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Monday, August 09, 2010 Rating: 5

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