You’ve probably noticed the ads that we have running on TechRepublic.

(At least our advertisers hope you have.) Likewise, almost every site on the Internet

employs some form of banner or graphical ad unit to help pay the bills and keep

the data bits flowing. Clearly the most annoying form of advertising is the

infamous pop-up ad which gets in your face and insists you clear it before you

can continue doing what you’re doing.

But, recently I’ve noticed a type of ad which is even more
annoying and irritating than the pop-up ad. And for a change it’s not online.

What I’m talking about are roaming billboards. These are

rotating ads that are mounted on the trailer area of panel trucks. They’re

motoring equivalent of the old sandwich board ads that people used to use to

tell you to “Eat At Joe’s”.

There used to just be one in town, but today I noticed

another one. It was painted an obnoxious tree-frog green with rolling ads. Don’t ask me what the ads were for, because I

was too annoyed with the concept.

Advertising has its place. I might be a bit biased, but contextual

advertising like we do here on TechRepublic can actually be useful. If you’re

reading about VOIP in an article online, it can be helpful to jump to an

advertiser’s site to see some of the products they have. But when I’m driving down the road, I don’t need

a truck in front of me with a spinning picture of the local ambulance chaser.

The only reason I’d need that is if I happen to get rear-ended by the person

behind me who’s also distracted by the thing.

I’m not a tree hugger by any means, but I find rolling

billboards on the backs of trucks belching fumes and consuming hundreds of

gallons of diesel at $3 a gallon as being socially irresponsible. About the

only use I find for them is to figure out the vendors to NOT purchase from. I’m

not going to patronize and encourage anyone to use such an advertising


What’s next? Are we all someday going to be driving down the
roads in cars that look like they’ve just driven off of a NASCAR track?