My primary finding was that "work from home" signs, "Have a Computer?" signs, and "Lose 30lbs in 30 days!" are all from ONE company, a multi-level marketing company called herbalife. The second part of the article explores the odds of succeeding at this business. I published this information on March 28, 2002, and followed it up with an epilogue on July 11, 2002.
The articles are about an investigation by a guy who was annoyed at the plague of telephone signs in Sacramento.
Here's my favorite quote from an Herbalife distributor:
You mentioned putting flyers on windshields. Of course people don't like flyers on their windshields. That's why you don't put them there. They should go on the driver's door on the window or crack of the door.
NonObligatorySFreference: "The Snowball Effect" by Katharine MacLean.
Link from a discussion of publishing scams at Making Light.