Local business owner Doug Wood has been advertising along Harvey Avenue for over 14 years.
The owner of Premium Oil Change Centre has watched all three of his children spend time wearing sandwich boards, with Wood and his wife even dressing in costumes to wave around spinner signs.
Three years ago, Wood began advertising with Patty and Penny, placing the two mannequins dressed in Premium Oil Change outfits while holding signs on Harvey Ave.
However, due to Kelowna’s recently instituted sign bylaw, Wood has been forced to remove Patty and Penny from the highway or face a stiff fine.
“Penny and Patty are well liked by the public, they’re dressed appropriately and they’re an important asset to my business,” explains Wood.
“I've done previous studies where I took my sign presence off of the highway and my sales can easily drop up to 20% in a day.”
The new by-law prohibits all temporary signs along Harvey Ave and a recently filed complaint has led to the forced removal of his signs.
“We actually bring the mannequins in every night while these other businesses along the highway leave these big signs out 24/7 - 365,” says Wood.
“I’m not on a good playing field when just because Joe public doesn’t like the looks of Penny or Patty they can have my signs removed.”
Wood contends that Premium Oil Change is an independent, family owned business in an industry dominated by corporate franchises.
He’s certain the loss of advertising will have a significantly damaging impact on his business, claiming his daily car count is already down in the days following the mannequins removal.
The City of Kelowna unanimously approved a new by-law in July, saying the temporary signs permanently left along Harvey Ave did not “keep with the desired appearance of our city”.