NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Offbeat

October 22, 2009

Funeral home offers electronic billboard obits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A funeral home is giving people one last chance to have their name in lights.

Iles Funeral Home in Des Moines is going high-tech with its funeral announcements, putting them on electronic billboards around the city.

John Wild, the general manager for Iles, compared it to the posting of funeral announcements at shops and post offices in rural communities where the business has funeral homes.

"That's how we get the word out about visitations and services in those communities and when we were approached about using electronic billboards, we thought it would be a good way to do the same thing here in Des Moines," Wild said.

Jessica Koth, spokeswoman for the National Funeral Directors Association in Brookfield, Wis., said it's the first time she's heard of a funeral home displaying service information on a billboard.

Wild was approached by Clear Channel Outdoors, which provides the digital billboards, about advertising Iles Funeral Home on the signs. Instead, Wild decided to use the billboards to let the public know about visitations and funeral services.

"I thought it was forward thinking and innovative," said Tim Jameson, president of the Des Moines division of Clear Channel Outdoor.

The digital announcements, which have appeared on five billboards around Des Moines for a few months, last about 8 seconds. Announcements can flash the person's name, picture and service details as well as the funeral home's Web site.

The announcement rotates with other ads and there is no additional cost to the family.

Koth acknowledged concerns that the billboards could be a distraction, particularly if someone spots the name of a friend or acquaintance without knowing about it beforehand.

But Jameson said he doesn't think the billboards have been a problem.

"The ad is for people who normally wouldn't be reached," he said. "It's no different that getting a text message or e-mail on your phone while you're driving down the road that somebody has died."

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Offbeat

Offbeat
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans