Park Outdoor Advertising is an advertising media company operating over 1,500 billboards in upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania.
Park Outdoor Advertising got its storied start back in the 1950’s as Americans were taking to the routes of the expanding US highway system. Our history is recounted in the book Sons in the Shadow written by our CEO since 1984, Roy H. Park, Jr.
Utilizing the same art that appeared on the food packages and in advertisements, a distinctive sign was created and offered to restaurants and lodging places recommended by the guidebooks. This “Recommended by Duncan Hines” shingle, hanging in front of a restaurant, resort, or place of lodging, was to become a highly sought-after symbol of prestige. So much so that Hines had to take one con man to court for selling counterfeit signs. Duncan Hines, and later the cake mix, also became the subject of cartoons in magazines from the New Yorker to Playboy.
There was a second aspect of signage that Underwood recalls. Aside from supervising the five or so full-time salesmen on the road selling the shingles and guidebooks to listed restaurants, hotels, motels, and resorts.Underwood’s job was to lease and erect billboards all over the country.The five-by-sixteen-foot signs displaying the “Recommended by Duncan Hines” message with the distinctive logo rising above the top of the billboard advertised listed establishments willing to pay the average charge of $85 a month.
From this humble beginning, outdoor advertising was later to become an integral part of the relationship between my father and me. After returning from an independent career in 1971 to work for him managing his Outdoor Advertising division until buying it in 1988.
— Excerpt from Sons in the Shadow