Things are a little different out here, Larry's right about the American owned & operated bit, it does make a difference. I've gotten jobs solely based on that fact alone. Now, with that said, the competition out here is pretty fierce because of the fact that there are so many fly by night operations who will provide everything for $35 a month front & back every week.
There are some restrictions on advertising - California requires a landscaper to be licensed to take on jobs over $500 & display their license info in their ads. They also require unlicensed contractors to state that they are unlicensed in any ads they take out.