January 30, 2007

Legislative Activity

January 30, 2007

To: AAF Members in Kentucky

From: Clark Rector Jr., Senior Vice President – Government Affairs

Re: Important Outdoor Advertising Issue

Our friends in the outdoor advertising industry have asked for our help with a legislative issue. This is an opportunity for your advertising federation to provide a special service to an important segment of your membership.

Billboards depend on visibility from the traveled way. One impediment to visibility is vegetation (trees and others plants). Thus, most states set up a process to permit vegetation control, analogous to the pruning and trimming done by the electric utilities to protect transmission lines. In late 2006, Michigan's (Democratic) governor signed legislation to allow vegetation control in order to protect visibility of billboards. Likewise, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, R-Fla., signed similar vegetation legislation earlier in 2006. There are over 30 states with selective trimming and pruning guidelines in place.

What's the problem?
In Kentucky, trees and other plants are blocking visibility to a significant portion of the billboards in the state, hurting advertisers and businesses that rely on billboards. The problem is getting worse, to the point where certain billboards are of little to no value. Overall, billboards are heavily regulated. Therefore, the loss of existing billboards has an immediate adverse impact on advertisers.

What's the solution?
Within days, vegetation-control legislation will be filed in Kentucky. We expect a bill number to be assigned very soon.

At this stage of the legislative process in Frankfort, we are looking for AAF members who can pick up the phone and call one or both of these members of the state House leadership:

The message is very simple:

We think it's a good idea to protect the visibility of billboards, on behalf of the viability of roadside businesses and advertisers in Kentucky.

Thank you for your help with this issue. Please do not hesitate to call me at (800) 999-2231 if you have any comments or questions.