Here in central Iowa, it’s possible for your loved ones to see your name up in lights one last time after you’re gone. The Iles Funeral Homes of Des Moines and Clear Channel Outdoor have teamed up to offer obituaries on at least five electronic billboards in the metro area.
For about 8 seconds, service details with the dead person's name and picture appear in rotation with other ads. According to Jessica Koth of the National Funeral Directors Association in Brookfield, Wis., the electronic billboards are a first.
While the debate continues over the distractive features of electronic billboards in general, Marilyn Johnson, author of "The Dead Beat," a 2006 book about obituaries told the Des Moines Register that billboard obituaries "invite a lot of bad taste."
Besides the poor resolution of old family photos, Johnson said: "It could cause accidents, right? Wouldn't you like drive into a telephone pole if you saw your neighbor up there and didn't know? ... What are you going to do, pull off and mourn?"
Tim Jameson of Clear Channel notes in the Register article that a call on a cell phone can be as big a distraction.
"If you think about it, the family living room is not the family living room," Jameson told Register reporter Gunnar Olson. "The living room is the minivan."
Writing prompt of the day: Have you thought about how your own death should be announced? Do your relatives know of your wishes?
Flickr photo of billboard courtesy of popofatticus.