Magazine article Editor & Publisher

So, OK: Who's Got the Coolest Billboard?

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

So, OK: Who's Got the Coolest Billboard?

Article excerpt

Commuters from San Bernardino County to Los Angeles have been witnessing a freeway skirmish of dueling billboards touting two rival newspapers.

The San Bernardino County Sun struck first with a billboard featuring the brand name for its classified advertising, "Cool Classified." Its billboard touted a reduced-rate offer: "San Bernardino County Sun Cool classified 3 lines/7 days/$9.95."

The staff at The Press-Enterprise, the Riverside-based paper that has launched a San Bernardino edition, debated how to parry the Sun's billboard, which went up in April. Classified Sales Manager Darlene Clayton recalled The Press-Enterprise's longstanding offer of free classified ads on Saturday, then suggested, "There's nothing cooler than free ads!"

"That's the message! There it is!" declared Joe Frederickson, vice president for marketing, who took the idea to top executives. There was no debate, "just howling," he said. "Everybody pounded the table and said, 'How soon can we get that up?'"

Editor, Publisher, and President Marcia McQuern said, "I just applauded. …

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