Member Profile: Barnes Outdoor Advertising

Date: August 17, 2017

Celebrating 100 years in Operation

Celebrating their 100th anniversary, Barnes Outdoor Advertising is a fourth-generation family-owned business. The business was founded by Mr. Erwin M. Barnes, beginning as a billboard plant in Boston, Massachusetts and originally named “Mr. Barnes of Boston.”

In 1916, Erwin sold his business operations in New England with intentions of moving west to California. However, while traveling through Zanesville, Ohio, he decided to stay and call it his new home.

After passing away, Erwin left the family business to his son, Beryl, who operated the outdoor advertising facility in southeastern Ohio until his death in 1971. Beryl Barnes had two sons, David and Roderick who operated the family business after his death. David passed away in 1982 leaving the business solely to Roderick Barnes.

In 2009, Roderick retired, leaving the current business to his children, Maryjane Shackelford and John W. Barnes who are now involved in the day to day operations of Barnes Advertising Corporation.

Billboards have certainly evolved over the time the Barnes family has been involved in the industry. Prior to the 1940s, Billboards consisted of all shapes and sizes and graphics were hand-painted by very skilled artists. Now hand-painted billboards are a thing of the past. Today billboards are digital with artwork that has transformed into intricate graphic designs.

By adapting to the digital age of advertising, Barnes Advertising Corporation is unique when compared to competitors. The company has continued to do business with the same clientele, some for 40 years, in 13 different counties.

Barnes Advertising Corporation is a small business with 17 employees and has been an NFIB member since 1971. “We view NFIB as an advocate for us.”

Barnes Advertising faces problems with the government not uniformly enforcing regulations and permits. They would also like to see legislation to simplify workers’ compensation. The small business enjoys being members of NFIB and finds Area Action Council meetings in Zanesville to be a convenient way to stay informed and connected.

Barnes Advertising is also a member of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) to stay informed about changes specific to the advertising industry.

Learn more about Barnes Advertising at

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