LOS ANGELES - All around town Ralph's apples are peeling, designer clothes are ripped to shreds, even Nick Nolte is coming unglued. Some 12 days of torrential rains and fierce winds wreaked havoc on just about everything in the great outdoors, and billboards - advertising everything from supermarkets to movies - were no exception.
'As far as we're concerned this is a natural disaster for us,' said Robert Wilson, marketing manager, Patrick Media. Boards that were hit the hardest tended to be ones facing West and North, which had been up for a number of weeks. Those facing South and East were in better shape, Wilson said.
Both Patrick and Gannett are working overtime to re-post damaged boards. As a rule, Patrick Media asks for 10% more ads than it plans to post for emergencies, and makes good for the damaged boards at no cost provided the contract period has not expired, Wilson said. Over at Gannett, the policy is much the same, except it asks clients for 20% more ads.
John Montague, vp/sales manager at Gannett, just moaned when asked how the weather had affected that company's billboards. 'If it was up for a while, chances are it ain't anymore,' he said. He figures re-posting the boards is a lot like painting the Golden Gate Bridge: you keep doing it.
As for Montague, he's praying the rain doesn't return anytime soon. 'I'm looking forward to summer,' he said.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)