Previously posted on Fading Ad Campaign website.
The sign uncovered at Reade Street and West Broadway in downtown New York City and described in Paul Goldberger’s May 14 appraisal of “Signs of Lost Times” may have “confounded city historians for years,” but it was clear to me the moment I saw it. “Brush Up Business With Paint, Paste, Paper, Push” is an advertisement for outdoor advertising itself — an ad for ads, if you will. In other (more modern) words: “Improve your business with outdoor billboards” (which are painted, pasted and papered). Why ‘Push’? For alliterative purposes only. “Push” means “sell.” Which is what outdoor advertising has been doing ever since, and very well at that. ROBERT REAUME President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Canada Toronto, May 19, 1994
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