Lamar Advertising Company

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Lamar Advertising Company
Industry Advertising
Founded 1902
Headquarters Baton Rouge, LA
Key people Kevin P. Reilly, Sr. (retired CEO), Kevin Reilly, Jr., President and Chairman of the Board, and Sean Reilly, CEO
Products Outdoor Advertising

The Lamar Advertising Company, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,[1] is a provider of billboards, transit advertising, and highway logo signs. Founded in 1902, Lamar currently operates over 200 outdoor advertising companies in more than 40 states, Canada and Puerto Rico which maintain billboards, digital signs, and advertising on buses, bus stops, and benches.[2] Lamar is also the largest provider of highway signs in North America, with operations in 22 states and the province of Ontario, Canada.[3] It has been one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the United States and Puerto Rico since 1999.


Founded in 1902, the company became independent under its current name in 1908 in Pensacola, Florida, when Charles W. Lamar, Sr. and J.M. Coe decided to dissolve their three-year partnership using a coin toss to divide their assets, the Pensacola Opera House and the Pensacola Advertising Company that was created to promote it. Lamar lost the toss and was left with the less-lucrative poster company, which he renamed the Lamar Outdoor Advertising Company.

Under the management of Lamar and his sons, the company grew rapidly over the next century. In 1996, Lamar made its first public offering of stock, which began trading on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol LAMR. In 1999, after completing its $1.6 billion acquisition of Chancellor Media, Lamar became one of the nation's largest outdoor advertising companies by number of displays. In 2005, Lamar generated revenues of more than $1 billion for the first time. It employs 3,300 workers in more than 150 offices in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

In 1989, current President and Chairman of the Board Kevin Reilly, Jr. (the great-grandson of founder Charles Lamar, Sr.) was appointed to succeed his father as CEO Kevin P. Reilly, Sr. Since that time, Lamar -- now based in Baton Rouge -- has diversified, expanding into interstate advertising and digital billboards. It also operates divisions focusing on attraction advertising for state tourism departments as well as large-format printing operations for private business. In 2011, Sean Reilly was appointed to succeed his brother Kevin Reilly, Jr. as CEO.[4]

Outdoor Advertising Products[edit]

A blank Lamar bulletin board located along I-76 in Pennsylvania

Bulletins: The largest standard-sized form of outdoor advertising, located on highly visible locations such as expressways and primary arteries. Bulletins are commonly used as "directionals" to reach long-distance travelers and direct them to nearby restaurants, lodging, gas stations, etc.

Tri-Visions: An advertising display (usually bulletin size) using turning triangular louvers to display copy for three different clients on a rotating basis.

Posters: Smaller 12'x24' boards usually purchased in a "poster showing," or a predetermined number of posters within a given market. Posters are used to blanket a market with a message and, due to their smaller size, aren't limited to highways and interstates.

Junior Posters: Smaller posters, usually 6'x12', that are placed where posters or bulletins cannot.

Digital Displays: Computer-controlled electronic billboards using large LED displays. The board holds a message for up to 10 seconds before the next message is displayed. Due to their electronic nature, they are very flexible, capable of being changed weekly, daily, or even hourly. These boards are often used to advertise time-sensitive information: special promotions, one-day sales, breaking news, price points, etc. Lamar also cooperates with state and local agencies to display local weather warnings, public service announcements, and Amber Alerts; such displays accounted for over $34 million in donated ad space in 2008.

Digital Posters: Smaller digital displays, either 10'x21' or 10'x36'.

Wallscapes: Large, elaborate, non-standard structures custom-designed to attract attention using eye-catching special effects: neon tubing, fiber optics, hydraulic movement, strobe lights, etc.

Buses: Buses travelling through busy metro areas are wrapped in a variety of ways to act as "mobile billboards."

Shelters: Signage placed at bus stops and other transit shelters distributed throughout a market. These displays are back-lit for night viewing.

Benches: Signage placed on benches located at bus stops and high-traffic intersections, visible to motorists and pedestrians.

"Station Domination": A saturation campaign where an entire train station and its trains are covered with an advertiser's message.

Green initiatives[edit]

Lamar Advertising has used recyclable, polyethylene printing substrate in place of non-recyclable glued paper since 2006 and has recently switched from vinyl substrate to a similar polyethylene one for other jobs. It also uses UV light to cure the inks printed on its substrates instead of evaporating solvents, eliminating VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds). In addition, Lamar has reduced the energy consumption of its billboards by 50% by switching to a new lighting system and is currently using solar panels and testing wind turbines to power some of its outdoor advertising network.

By switching to all-polyethylene printing substrates, Lamar now uses 100% recyclable materials for its billboards. The lower weight of these materials has also reduced fuel and transportation costs by nearly 65%. Recyclable polyethylene bags are also being used to ship its printed materials to save both cardboard and space in trucks.


  1. ^ "contact us" Lamar Advertising Company. Retrieved on February 25, 2011. "5321 Corporate Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70808."
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