Louis Sheldon-Williams is a fellow Ghost Sign enthusiast and held an exhibition of his photos in 2003. He refers to them as “commercial archeaology” and makes reference to advertising being the second oldest profession. He has also campaigned for the protection of these signs but with much resistance.
Shown here [Update: Image expired] is a detail of one of his photos for Peterkin’s Custard, a great sign from near Clapham. This exhibition was picked up in an article in the Guardian and also on mad.co.uk.
He later had a write up in the journal of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography in 2005 (pages 35-9). Check out the ad that says “For your throats sake smoke”. Wonder if that would get past the ASA these days?