Earlier this week, Ohio television station WFMJ reported that a digital billboard “popped up” along a busy road in the community of Boardman that simply reads, “Impeach.” The huge advertisement doesn’t specifically mention President Trump by name, but the implied meaning is quite clear. According to WFMJ, a small line at the bottom reads, “Paid for by Youngstown Neighbors.” But it seems the group isn’t very interested in speaking to the media.
On Tuesday, the Youngstown, Ohio-based Business Journal Daily said that Peter Norris, a professor of chemistry at Youngstown State University, acting as a spokesman for Mahoning Valley Neighbors, the group that paid for the billboard, announced a press event originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. at Peaberry’s in Canfield.
Norris, however, announced at noon on Tuesday that the event was canceled. No other information was made available.
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The report added:
The company that owns the billboard, Genesis Outdoor Advertising, is based in Youngstown. When contacted yesterday, an employee said it was against company policy to disclose the individuals who secured the billboard or how long it would be posted.
The digital billboard, pictured above at dusk Monday, apparently went up Saturday and its existence began churning Sunday on social media.
A group that calls itself ProgressMV had postings on Facebook that explained how people could contribute to fund the campaign. That Facebook page has since gone from private status to secret.
While the page was still visible, one woman identified herself and listed her home address as to where contributions could be sent.
The Business Journal contacted a woman with the same name who operates a business in the Cornersburg area. She denied having anything to do with the billboard and hung up the phone.
According to Norris, the billboard “was paid for by Youngstown Neighbors through small donations from Mahoning Valley residents who are concerned about the direction our democracy has taken this year.”
A follow-up report by WFMJ said the local Democrat Party had nothing to do with the advertisement, and the group responsible for the billboard “declined an interview.”
According to WFMJ:
Since our first report on the sign, hundreds of comments have been posted on the web, both in support of the sign and condemning it.
From an advertising point of view, (Keynote Media Group owner Richard) Hahn says it’s working. “It’s a strategy that I admire. I believe that it’s doing the job that they want it to do, and they’re expressing their individual feelings on the political scene in general, and they’re making it work,” Hahn said.
A recent Nielson study found that 59% of motorists noticed a billboard ad in the past month. And one in three (35%) say they look at the message all of the time or most of the time.
Last Sunday, a post at the Occupy Youngstown Facebook page solicited funds for the billboard, but oddly advised followers not to share the link publicly:
The link in the post, however, was not available at the time of this writing.
(Editor’s note: Since this article was first published, the Facebook post became unavailable.)
One of those who noticed the ad reached out to us on Facebook, calling the billboard an “offensive piece of trash.”
“I have already contacted the Boardman, Ohio administration (330-726-4177) and advised that I would not be patronizing any of the businesses located anywhere near this until it is removed,” the local resident told us.
“I was livid when I saw this,” he added, advising those who call to “dial 9 to reach the Trustees.”
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