Smyth billboard

Smyth billboard (Smyth Photo / April 10, 2014)

Did the Utz Girl say "yes" to Mr. Boh?

Yes, in case you missed the TV ad, and now the couple shown on a billboard just west of Penn Station will be moving to a new home together.

Timonium-based Smyth Jewelers erected the billboard off I-83 North capturing that magic moment when Mr. Boh, on one knee, proposed to the hair-ribboned Miss Utz with a ring from Smyth, "Where Baltimore gets engaged."

 The billboard has been hanging in the same spot since 2007, clearly visible to drivers heading north on the Jones Falls Expressway. Even severe damage in 2009, when wind and rain left the sign ripped and in tatters, wasn't enough to force its departure; a replacement image was soon put up.

 But such a traditional marriage proposal, the brainchild of Owings Mills marketing agency MGH, proved no match for modern technology. With the billboard's owners deciding to switch to a video format early next month, the happy couple is being forced to move elsewhere.

Smyth reports that the Boh/Utzes are scouting locations for a permanent presence in the city to mark their place in its history.

"Natty Boh and the Little Utz girl are Baltimore's version of the royal couple, which is why it's imperative that their next home pay homage to the sense of pride they instill in our city," said Tom Smyth, president of Smyth. "While we wholeheartedly support digital billboards, Natty and Miss Utz are a traditional couple looking for a more permanent home that isn't quite so flashy."

Smyth, started in 1914 by Albert S. Smyth,  has yet to pick a spot for the couple's relocation and is open to suggestions. Its contract for the current location runs through the end of April. Ideally, Smyth wants to see the couple painted somewhere prominent on brick and mortar, thus leaving them immune to such technological advances as digital imagery.

"It really needs to be permanent," says Kathleen Shaffer. a spokeswoman for MGH. "We know that this is such a centerpiece of the city."

In the ad campaign, the iconic couple was married in a public ceremony at Power Plant Live in May 2011, and a TV spot depicted the marriage.  

The couple also can be seen on a smaller version of the same billboard near Cold Spring Lane, also visible from I-83.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com