Yahoo’s iconic neon billboard in SF to be torn down


The iconic purple and yellow neon Yahoo billboard that has long been a staple of the San Francisco landscape is slated for destruction, reports SF Egoist. According to Jon Charles, Vice President and General Sales Manager for Clear Channel Outdoor in San Francisco, the billboard space will be available for lease starting in December, for $65,000 a month, or $80,000 a month for another neon sign.

Built in 1999, the retro-style, motel-themed billboard, which famously reads “Yahoo! A nice place to stay on the Internet,” has survived through the boom and bust of the Internet bubble in 2000, and made it through the tenures of four Yahoo CEOs. When it was first erected, Mark Zuckerberg was only 15-years-old.

The Yahoo billboard was created by Black Rocket advertising agency, who, at the time it went up, was creating billboards for a slew of dot-com companies, most of which went up along the 101 highway in Silicon Valley. Yahoo wanted to stand out, in more ways than one, according to Steve Stone, former co-creative director for Black Rocket. So the bright billboard found a home along Interstate 80, on the approach to the Bay Bridge — prime advertising real estate.

The San Francisco billboard also had similar-looking siblings, which were put up in Los Angeles, and in Times Square and the SOHO neighborhood of Manhattan.

If you want to try to help save the billboard, a Facebook page has been created for that goal. (It currently has 601 “likes.”) And if you’re interested in reading more about the history of the billboard (it is Friday, after all, it’s not like you’re going to get any real work done today), check out SF Egoist’s interview with Steve Stone and former Black Rocket media director Robert Boyce, here.

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