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Research & Policy

Citizens' action handbook on alcohol and tobacco billboard advertising
Edward T. McMahon and Patricia A. Taylor

This manual documents the negative effects of outdoor advertising for tobacco and alcohol products, which are prevalent in poor inner-city communities. It also describes a plan to mobilize citizens for change. Calling billboards a "blight" on black and Latino communities, the authors show how to prevent new billboards and remove or exchange existing ones, change zoning regulations, and control the billboard message.

An effective campaign starts with getting the facts about current billboard laws and ordinances, surveying local billboards and preparing a report, gathering allies, implementing the strategies, and petitioning city or county governments. Organizers need to know the opposition and understand how the billboard industry works. The authors provide a sample ordinance and a survey form, a list of additional resources, and a summary of facts and myths about alcohol and tobacco and billboards to help community groups plan and implement anti-billboard campaigns. Useful companion books for mounting the campaign include Marketing disease to Hispanics: The selling of alcohol, tobacco, and junk foods, by Bruce Maxwell and Michael Jacobson, and Marketing booze to blacks, by George A. Hacker, Ronald Collins, and Michael Jacobson.

Center for Science in the Public Interest and Scenic America
Distributed by Center for Science in the Public Interest
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009-5728
(202) 332-9110 ext. 385
Fax: (202) 265-4954
(1990, 38 pp.; $6.95; Marketing disease to Hispanics: The selling of alcohol, tobacco, and junk foods, 1989, 100 pp., $6.95; Marketing booze to Blacks, 1987, 70 pp., $4.95)


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