Advertising Question


Question 1

Advertising question

Described under the mantra ‘Go Vegean’, the poster pictures a young boy probably of age two or three lying down with an open book adjacent to him. He is seen holding a cigar. Its main motive is to urge the people to ‘Go Vegan!’ or become vegetarians (Tonkin, 2015). Found in West Yorkshire and Leeds, Burley Street, the billboard was erected a few days following a report by the (WHO) World Health Organisation that listed processed meats as threats to cancer. According to the report, as little as 50 grams a day of the processed products raised the bowel cancer risk by 18% (Nelson, 2015). The majority of researchers were, however, quick to point out that majority of the sausages eaten in Britain came from fresh meat and not processed meat.

The billboard raised a lot of public criticism notably from the leading social media platforms like Twitter. One Jennifer Lane on Twitter acclaimed that although she was in full support of PETA and against cruelty and abuse towards animals, the billboard had gone over the top by using a child to smoke. Ed McGee, an avid Twitter user was not happy about the comparison of giving processed meat to children to smoking cigarettes; he however says that people should just get the message amid of all criticism (Tonkin, 2015). PETA the company that was responsible for putting up the billboard has been a long-term advocate for veganism. PETA’s associate director, Elisa Allen, PETA was quick to defend the ad and said it was important to set the kids in the right direction that would ensure they led a healthier life. It would act as a reminder that as it is important to put down cigarettes, it is equally important to cut down on the processed meats.

Question 2

There are laws and regulations that are instrumental in ensuring uniformity and to protect the public from roadside advertising practices that may be unsafe or inappropriate. In a study however conducted by Yannis and his colleagues in 2012 in the nine sites, they examined showed that there was no existence of a relationship between road crashes and signs related to advertisements (Yannis et al., 2012). There are no cases of road accidents related to the billboard above, so it can be said it was safe. According to (Divekar et al., 2012) long glances of both beginners and experienced drivers prevented their ability to foresee any roadway hazards.

An effective billboard placement should not be wordy. Six words or less as passersby spend an average of six seconds reading (Sugget, 2016). It is essentially easy for road users to read reduced words , as opposed to lengthy statements on bill boards. In the above billboard, the words are six, so it met the criteria for an effective billboard given the public outcry it caused. It only means that their message was put across, and that its intended audience could effectively read the message.

The use of creative hints that captures the audience attention is effective for a successful billboard (Gannon, 2015). The use of the image of a ‘child smoking’ created a direct hint that it was something sensitive and had to be avoided. It was, therefore, successful in projecting their message, but their chosen way of doing it was wrong in the eyes of the society.

A recommendation for an effective billboard ad is to keep the images relevant (Rondeau, 2015). The relevance here with respect to the billboard by PETA is relative given that some members of the public were offended while others found the message quite relevant. It might have achieved relevance to certain levels.


Divekar, G., Pradhan, A., Pollatsek, A., Fisher, D. (2012).External Distractions: Evaluation of Their Effect on Younger Novice and Experienced Drivers’ Behavior and Vehicle Control. Transportation Research Board, Presented at the TRB 91st Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., Jan 22-26, 2012.

Gannon, J. (2015). Effective Outdoor Advertising. JGI Outdoor Advertising.

Nelson, R. (2015). Processed Meat Increases Risk for Colon Cancer, Says IARC. Medscape.

OAAA (2012).Digital Billboards Today. Outdoor Advertising Association of America; Fact sheet. Retrieved from

Rondeau, L. (2015). 10 Basic Rules to Billboard Advertising. Colling Media. Retrieved from

Sugget, P. (2016). Six Steps to Making a Great Billboard Ad. Retrieved from

Tonkin, S. (2015). Animal Rights Charity PETA Sparks Outrage with Controversial New Billboard Campaign about Cancer-Causing Meats That Features a Child Smoking. Mailonline.

Yannis, G., Papadimitriou, E., Papantoniou, P. and Voulgari, C. (2012).A Statistical Analysis of the Impact of Advertising Signs on Road Safety. Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece.16 May 2012.