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Who is behind this $10,000 declaration of love?

These billboards erected at the edge of the Conception Bay Bypass near the Fowler’s Road exit have stirred up plenty of speculation.
These billboards erected at the edge of the Conception Bay Bypass near the Fowler’s Road exit have stirred up plenty of speculation. - Joe Gibbons

Adapted from a story by Juanita Mercer in the Telegram.

A mysterious set of billboards has appeared along an otherwise unremarkable road in Newfoundland.

The massive signs, which read “KR loves Sonia,” with “loves” actually being a little heart, have gone up on the road leading into Conception Bay South. And Pattison, the billboard firm that sold the space, is keeping the mystery alive.

The Telegram asked St. John’s sales representative Phil Quann if there is indeed a person with the initials K.R. who loves someone named Sonia.

Quann said there’s more to it than that, but couldn’t give details.

“I wish I could tell you,” he said.

“I want to be able to tell it, and I tried to get them to let me do it, but they won’t let me.”

Quann said he doubts K.R. will ever publicly reveal the story behind the billboards.

“He — or her, whoever it is — does not want to release what it is about.”

Attention grabbers

Pattison’s Atlantic region general manager, Sherry Kirwin, confirmed the billboards are not a Pattison publicity stunt.

“It is real — somebody did contact us to book the space, and we helped them create the message,” she said.

“It is a real person reaching out to another real person.”

Pattison has put up a couple billboards of this kind in the past.

“A few years ago, we actually had a personal ad go up on a billboard in Halifax,” said Kirwin. “Someone used a billboard similar to a personal ad in the paper, it was like a ‘single white female searching for,’ so that got a lot of attention.”

A total unknown

It’s not just that Quann isn’t allowed to reveal the details behind these billboards. He couldn’t, even if he wanted to.

“I don’t even know his name, which is really funny because he has these billboards up — I don’t really get it,” Quann laughed.

“He had somebody call on his behalf to book the board, so I didn’t know anything about him. And at that time, the person that called about it said that they couldn’t release any information about it — it’s just a personal message for somebody.

“All I know is that he called me and said they wanted to put these specific words up on the board, and at the time when we booked it I didn’t even know if it was something that we were allowed to do.”

But after a call to his boss, who confirmed the message was fine as long as it wasn`t hurting anyone, Quann went ahead.

What he does know is that whoever it is has spent a tidy sum reaching out to Sonia.

The message costs about $1,000 to $1,600 per billboard per month and they’ve been up since November. By Quann’s estimates that puts the total cost somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000.

Whoever is behind these quirky signs, who Sonia is, and why this declaration of love is so important, may remain a mystery forever.

Quann said he doubts K.R. will ever publicly reveal the story behind the billboards.


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