Thursday, 9 June 2011 / Media - Billboard chief ready for new growth spurt

Richard Schaps got his break in billboards in an earlier recession, when New York City’s crime-ridden centre was the last place any brand wanted to be seen. Now, after two “devastating” years in 2008 and 2009 in which US outdoor advertising shrank by 20 per cent, he says the industry is poised for another growth spurt.

In 1979, the Brooklyn-accented former cab driver bought 14 Times Square billboards cheaply, and pitched them to Asian electronics groups with little US profiles as a quick way into America’s consciousness.

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