By Catherine Gudis
First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Additional info for Buyways: Billboards, Automobiles, and the American Landscape (Cultural Spaces)
71 But soon the Billposters’ Association took notice. As municipal art societies, the WCTU, and the American Civic Association became organized and national in scope, so the Billposters’ Association hastened to regulate itself, standardize, and promote the industry on a national level. ”72 When Massachusetts and Pennsylvania passed laws forbidding posting on public property without the consent of the owner, the association was steps ahead. 74 Though the association fought the challenges to the industry with batteries of lawyers, it also used self-reform and abundant promotion of those internal reforms to quell criticism and to preempt more invasive governmental regulation.
In all of these cases, leisure-oriented activities set the stage for the advertisements—emphasizing pleasure and consumption rather than work and production—and themes of youth, energy, and action denoted the outdoor spirit of the age. Each propagated the idea that independence and mobility were achieved through consumption, and promoted lifestyles that maintained high outdoor circulation. 5 However, they defended their methods as literally moving people, driving them to the shop or to the next leisure activity before they hit the road again.
The time had come to shape up. The first tenuous step to turn billposting into a respectable profession came in 1872, when eleven concerned billposters decided to form the International Billposters’ Association of North America, the first association of advertisers in the country. ”44 The organization remained woefully incapable of solving the problems of the billposters’ brawls, and dissolved after a dozen years. 45 The redundantly named Associated Billposters’ Association of the United States and Canada, formed in 1891, found greater success.