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Advertising trucks keep right on rolling

MONTREAL, Que. - Downtown Montreal is a swirling rainbow feast of neon, cars and throngs of lightly-dressed people gliding through the sweltering summer.Yet city officials have decided a few rolling a...


ADDING AND SUBTRACTION: City council may try to ban the rolling billboards later this year.
ADDING AND SUBTRACTION: City council may try to ban the rolling billboards later this year.

MONTREAL, Que. – Downtown Montreal is a swirling rainbow feast of neon, cars and throngs of lightly-dressed people gliding through the sweltering summer.

Yet city officials have decided a few rolling ad-mobiles threatened visual chaos and have begun wondering aloud whether they should take another stab at restricting the ad-laden flatbeds.

According to Yan Georgeff, the vice president of Impact Media in St-Laurent, Que., which has eight vehicles that carry ads for hire, it seems that there will be no ban any time soon.

“I think it was just something the mayor said. When I called back to the city they said there would be no question of banning them any time in the future,” he says. “People started to make an issue about mobile advertising but it died out.”

The Impact Media trucks are plated S vehicles, not plated L (heavy).

“It is a light truck with a 12-foot platform in the back. They are very clean and the signs never exceed the maximum width permitted,” says Georgeff. Each truck carries a rotating three-sided display; each of the three ads per truck is nine feet four inches high and seven feet wide.

Impact Media, which has been operating since 1999, covers the area from Toronto to Riviere-de-Loup and beyond with its tiny fleet. The company recently opened a Toronto office however and, says Georgeff, it will be buying more vehicles for that centre.

Another Montreal-area company, Euromobile, operates a dozen ad-carrying trucks.

The city reportedly tried to have the trucks restricted in 1996, but its court challenge failed. Georgeff admits although the risk seems low now that there will be a ban, some sort of restrictions may be imposed on the trucks’ use.

An impact study on the ad-carrying trucks is under way, but no concrete action will be taken until after the municipal election in November.

As for any possible or inadvertent impact a future bylaw might have on city centre-bound transports owned by enterprising fleets that have sold ads on the sides of the van trailers, these should escape any restrictions. Claude Hill, the assistant to the president of the executive committee of Montreal assures that the executive committee has a crystal clear awareness of the difference between the two classes of trucks.

“There is no risk of a misunderstanding,” he says. “Be assured you will not have bad news about this subject.” n


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