Today, Jean-Claude Decaux died at age 78. He created the largest outdoor advertising company in the world (called logically JC Decaux), but his contribution was to make it more than just advertising because in exchange for advertising space, he implemented "urban furniture" as a counterpart -- directional signs, bus stops, automatic toilets ("sanisettes" in Paris), etc. And of course, JC Decaux also invented the municipal bike systems that have spread over the world. The company pays for the installation and the maintenance of all of the bikes, besides furnishing the bikes themselves. The idea for his business came to him when he bought the advertising contract for the famous "colonne Morris" advertising cylinders in Paris, which are now illuminiated and rotate slowly so that you can see all 3 ads. A lot of people despise all advertising, but if it is to be a necessary evil, it should at least be pleasing to look at and as innovative as possible. I was impressed last year when all of the bus stops in Paris were changed to a new design, incorporating telephone charging sockets at every stop.
JC Decaux is also the #1 company in the world for airport and train station advertising. (#2 is Clear Channel for anybody wondering.)
He retired in 2013, but obviously the company will continue as before. It now operates in 70 countries and has 12,300 employees. Yes, we have to look at quite a few billboards as well.