The Toro on Spanish motorways... The Osborne Bull
Billboard advertising is not permitted according to the current regulation in the European Union in motorways. This was not the case years ago and so, in Spain, there were many motorways that had many advertising impacts all through the way. It is very good to be able to enjoy just the sights without being bombarded by advertising.
The signs were taken down years ago. There has been however one exception to this rule and it has been so not for all the cases in which that piece of advertising was shown, but just in a few, very impressive cases. We refer here to the Osborne Bull. It’s a big black silhouette of a Iberian toro (bull), really big, with a browny back, horns, a menacing swatting tail and a pair of big family jewels…. A real macho for sure. This silhouette can be see in the Spanish horizon in many motorways. It is for sure one of the signs that will get your attention if you enjoy a wine tour in Spain that implies driving. It has normally been kept in the areas where the combination of bull and landscape enhances the whole. In some cases, when the sun is at dust behind the bull, the picture is simply fantastic. This silhouette is the same one you may have seen in many popular T-shirts found over the world these days (mainly by people who have visited Spain). Many stickers are also seen in cars.
At first the Osborne Bull was destined to disappear in the same way it has happened with all the other advertising. A public campaign was however launched to “save the Toro” from this fate due to its aesthetic value. The Toro is the brand of Osborne, one of Spain´s top brandy sellers based in the area of Jerez de la Frontera (Puerto de Santa María), which is home for many wineries. We organise winery visits in Jerez de la Frontera with our sherry winery passes. The group has launched different wineries and companies (like a famous ham producer) all of which use the Toro to some extent as part of their branding.
The sign has survived, and many people in Spainl refer to them as the “Osborne bull”.. the brand does not show any longer on those bulls found in the highways, but the shape is there to stay… the power of branding.