MAGAZINES & PRESS - COMPLETED STREET PROJECTS - PUBLIC AD CAMPAIGN BLOG

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Mad Men of Los Angeles

Christine Pelisek has written an incredibly articulate article on the nature of LA's illegal outdoor advertising problem. She spoke to us and included the Weave It! piece we did while out in LA not too long ago. The one thing I would note is that while illegal signage is problematic, it is the use of public space for commercial interest that is really the issue. We should remain aware of this and not give up once illegal signs are removed. Eventually we should take after Sao Paolo and ban it all, period.

The Mad Men of Los Angeles
Living the good life, thanks to the big profits from illegal outdoor advertising

by Christine Pelisek

Supergraphic multimillionaire Barry Rush couldn't have been pleased to hear a few weeks ago that Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich had taken the audacious step of jailing a compatriot in arms, a Hollywood landlord who, for an undisclosed sum, cut a deal with a shadowy firm that draped an illegal supergraphic around a historic Hollywood Boulevard building. [More Here]

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Businessman held on $1-million bail in supergraphic case

The LA times is reporting that a businessman was arrested and is being held on $1-million bail for posting an eight-story movie advertisement in Hollywood. It is about time arrests became an integral part of dealing with the perpetrators of crimes against the public. There may be issues with safety in regards to supergraphic signs but no one addresses the issue of our collective public health. On a daily basis commercial messages assault the senses, steal valuable space in our minds, and manipulate the public interest to fit commercial desires altering the very fabric of our society. This makes all advertising in public a crime as far as I am concerned and it should be met with the appropriate police response.

Businessman held on $1-million bail in supergraphic case


In a dramatic escalation of the war against illegal supergraphics in Los Angeles, authorities have jailed a businessman accused of posting an eight-story movie advertisement on an office building at one of Hollywood's busiest intersections. [More Here]

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 26, 2010

This Could Be The Biggest Ad Ever Erected

Animal New York reports that this "20-story couple can be seen discerned from five kilometers away." It may be the biggest outdoor advertisement on Earth but proposed plans in 1999 for Moonvertising would have dwarfed this little puppy.

"Moonvertising involves shining a powerful laser at the moon and projecting an advertising message that can be seen from around the world. Coca-Cola tried to do it in 1999 as the millennium approached, but the FAA was worried about interference with aircraft (i.e. "cutting flying airplanes in half")."

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Faith47 Provides A Striking Alternative

Faith 47 is fast becoming one of my favorite artists world wide. Her incredible dedication to the street, and the people who her work comes in contact with, can be seen in every piece she does. Her use of public space is an inspiration to me and exemplifies what good can come when someone is allowed to create openly in our shared environments. From the intimate moments to the looming murals, her work is dead serious while being uplifting and filed with hope. She recently sent me some images that I would like to share with you in part because they are such wonderfully stark contrasts to the Supergraphics I saw in LA.

Faith 47 told us this mural is 12x18 meters and was create in Johannesburg.


This image is wonderful example of Faith 47's more intimate pieces.

In contrast to Faith 47's work I took all of these images from within a 100 yard vantage point outside of my hotel in West Hollywood LA. The almost carnivalesque nature these messages add to this environment is overwhelming and oppressive. I can only imagine what it might feel like if Faith 47 were allowed access to all these walls and what a different experience this space might be.





Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blue Outdoor Offers New Windowscape To Ruin Your Day In The Park

Here at PublicAdCampaign we get lots of fun emails from OAC's that don't have a clue about what we do. Just yesterday we received a press release from Blue Outdoor offering the largest Windowscape we have ever seen right across the street from Bryant Park at 1095 6th Avenue. For a mere $150,000.00 a month your company can take advantage of all the public individuals attempting to find relaxation right across the street. With over 200 feet of space along 6th Avenue as well as 100 feet along 42nd street, this location would dwarf every billboard we know of in this city. If this is a little too pricey, you can opt for a cheaper location right around the corner on 42nd street with 2,500 square feet of advertising space for a mere $50,000.00 a month. If you are one of the people who think you can ignore outdoor advertising, I would bet companies willing to shell out $150,000.00 a month tend to disagree.

As of now there are no permits at either of these locations for 3rd party signage as the zoning does not allow it. We will keep our eyes on the street and report any infractions. We have found that simply posting these shenanigans on our site can deter OAC's from making the mistake of littering our public spaces with commercial messages. We sincerely hope this will be the case with this supergraphic as it will be detrimental to our city and public health. [Download Press Release BlueOutdoor_42ndst.pdf] [Download Press Release BlueOutdoor_10956thAve.pdf]

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bayer's 'Media Facade' redefines building-vertising

Via Engadget

You may think that once you've seen one building turned into a massive billboard you've seem them all, but that would mean you probably haven't seen the so-called "Media Facade" now adorning Bayer's former HQ in Leverkusen, Germany. Built by ag4 media facade GmbH and GKD AG, the massive display apparently consists of 5.6 million LEDs that cover the entire 17,500 square meters of the building, and which can be lit up at will to pump out gigantic advertisements worthy of any science fiction movie. You'll note this is the former Bayer headquarters -- it seems that the promise of 'round the clock ads visible for miles around saved the building from the wrecking ball. Head on past the break for a video of it in action, and a second showing the facade being constructed.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

City Seeks Huge Fine and Order To Remove Unpermitted Supergraphic on Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Plastering our public with private commercial messages is not a "1st amendment right to free speech" issue. We censor many media in our public spaces, including cigarette and alcohol ads. These ads are extremely influential and have been deemed hazards to our collective social health. The giant supergraphics in LA, although not touting addictive and physically harmful products, are no less influential in their pushing of other products. The request to remove these other signs from the public environment is for our collective mental health and should be honored with the same respect.

VIA Ban Billboard Blight
The battle between the city and the owners of the historically-registered Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel over the right to keep a supergraphic ad on the side of the building landed in federal court two months ago, with the hotel owner and sign company claiming that the city’s refusal to issue a permit for the sign is a violation of the 1st amendment right to free speech.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Inflatable Supergraphics: Part of McDonalds Ad Blitz for Upscale Coffee Drinks

VIA Ban Billboard Blight
The crew was out in the middle of the night on Overland Ave. in West L.A., installing this five-story ”inflatable” supergraphic sign that’s part of a $100 milllion-plus advertising campaign signaling McDonalds’ foray into the upscale coffee market dominated by Starbucks and a handful of other chains.

The building previously sported a supergraphic ad for designer jeans, which wasn’t removed, but covered up by the faux brick of the McCafe sign. Last year, the company that installed the ads, World Wide Rush, got an injunction from a U.S. District Court Judge barring the city from enforcing its ban on supergraphic ads at the location.

According to an advertising industry publication, McDonalds spent $825 million last year on advertising on TV, radio, the internet and billboards and other outdoor advertising venues. To tell McDonalds (for whatever its worth) what you think of their marketing campaign, click here.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

El Capitan Theater: More Defacement of Historic Hollywood Buildings by Supergraphic Signs

VIA Ban Billboard Blight

The El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Blvd. opened in 1926, and was the site of many star-studded events, including the world premiere of “Citizen Kane” in 1941. It later fell on hard times, but in the late Eighties the Walt Disney Co. and Pacific Theaters teamed up to do a complete restoration, and it has since been the venue for premieres of Disney feature films.

el-capitan-2Before The Supergraphic

The theater, built by the same real estate developer who built the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Chinese Theater, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And like the hotel, also a registered historic landmark, the building has been draped with a huge supergraphic sign that obscures much of its architecture.

The owners of the hotel, just down the street from the theater, and the sign company, In Plain Sight Media, recently sued the city seeking the right to keep the unpermitted supergraphic sign in place. More on Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The owners of the El Capitan theater donated a “conservation easement” to the Los Angeles Conservancy, which is essentially an agreement not to make any exterior modifications to the building that don’t meet historic preservation standards. This easement is considered a charitable donation, and is typically used by owners of historic properties to claim significant tax deductions.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Report From The Billboard Jungle in Los Angeles ::: illegalsigns

If you don't enjoy watching news programming in your free time, consider watching this on company time Monday morning.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Star Trek 2009, Mannywood, The Sims 3: What Happens When Big Advertising Budgets Collide With L.A.’s Moratorium on Supergraphic Signs?

I'm sorry I have not been posting as frequently or with as much fervor as usual, but I promise it is for a good reason. Ban Billboard Blight never fails to present interesting and provocative content and I fall back on their amazing site in this time of need. Enjoy


Branding the Dodgers’ $25 million/year outfielder Manny Ramirez is big business. Even bigger is advertising the latest version of The Sims computer game, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. And perhaps biggest of all is the 11th installment of the Star Trek movie series, now beginning a promotional blitz leading up to its June, 2009 opening. So it’s hardly suprising that supergraphic signs for these products are appearing on the sides of buildings around the city, even though a moratorium on such signs has been in place since late last year.

3000-robertson

3000 Robertson Blvd.

One of The Sims 3 supergraphics went up last week on a building at 3000 Robertson Blvd., where earlier this year the city cited an illegal supergraphic for the “Watchmen” movie. Another ad for the computer game went up at 6464 Sunset Blvd., where prior supergraphics had been cited for violating city codes. Those citations were challenged in a lawsuit against the city, but last summer a federal court judge ruled that the city could legally enforce its regulations at that location.

6464-sunset-4

Crew Putting Up SIMS Supergraphic at 6464 Sunset Blvd. on March 28

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tackling Illegal Signage in the Digital Age

La has a moratorium on digital and supergraphic signs, which means any signage that goes up that wasn't there yesterday is illegal. This makes it very easy for residents to help spot these eyesores and report them to the city. The fact that no authority needs to determine the new signs illegality allows the city attorney's office to act immediately. In fact, the city attorney's office has setup a website where residents can report illegal signs directly to them, and skip over any red tape, or other offices which might slow down the process of serving these law breakers.

Despite there being no similar moratorium in New York, a web form which allowed residents to report illegal signage would be very helpful here as well. Often when I call in violations to the DOB through 311, my description of the billboard is recorded incorrectly and or I have an image I would like to include. In an effort to alleviate the burden the Sign Enforcement Unit has, web forms with image attachments would allow the team to determine some billboards legality without leaving the office.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Midtown Crossing Developer: Either Approve a Sign District To Allow Supergraphic Billboards, or the Project Will Remain a Dusty Hole in the Ground

Developers, landlords, and outdoor advertising agencies alike, are often clear about one thing; the city would cease to operate in the same way and with the same comforts we are all used to if outdoor advertising was banned and the revenues it brings were lost. The funny thing is I think that this is the same point people who are fighting the spread of urban blight are trying to make. The problem is developers and landlords, advertising companies and those who have a stake in the profits reaped by obliterating our public conscience with fantasies of things we don't need, don't get that we don't want the stupid shopping center to begin with. If the building and the shops contained within cannot support themselves without creating false desire for the actual products sold within the structure through giant supergraphic advertising, then it holds nothing of necessity and should not be considered a viable business venture.

Via Ban Billboard Blight

Midtown Crossing Site

A representative of CIM Group, the developer of the Midtown Crossing shopping center, told a neighborhood council committee last week that the project can’t be built without including 11 large supergraphic billboards. CIM vice president Philip Freidl told the Mid-City Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee that the company originally purchased the property with the expectation that the city would approve a special sign district to allow off-site advertising that is otherwise prohibited by the city sign code.

The 11 large billboards arrayed around the shopping center would face Pico and Venice Blvds., and advertise products and services other than those sold on the premises. Graphic displays brought to the meeting by Friedl and an assistant showed 14 such billboards, including one digital, but he said that the number has since been reduced in response to community concerns about the impact on surrounding residential neighborhoods. Friedl said that the project won’t pencil out without the revenue from the supergraphic signs, which can earn up to $50,000 a month for property owners in high-traffic locations.

CIM Group was the subject of a recent Los Angeles Times article exposing the fact that it has allowed illegal supergraphic signs on some of its properties. At a meeting last week, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency board expressed dismay at this disclosure, and some commissioners questioned whether the city should continue to do business with the company which has received city subsidies for several projects, including more than $14 million for Midtown Crossing.

The initial public hearing by the city planning department on the company’s application for a sign district is scheduled for April 6. A new city sign ordinance, which would not allow a sign district such as the one proposed for Midtown Crossing, is scheduled to be voted on by the City Planning Commission March 18. However, the new ordinance contains a provision that “grandfathers” all seven sign district applications currently pending in the planning department, allowing them to go forward under current, less restrictive criteria.

CIM Group is a major property owner and developer in Hollywood and downtown L.A., and has developed projects or has projects underway in other cities, including Santa Monica, Pasadena, Anaheim, and San Jose. None of those cities allow billboards or other forms of off-site advertising.

According to City Ethics Commission reports, the firm spent almost $1.3 million lobbying city agencies on behalf of its projects in the past five years. In addition, persons listed as CIM group executives and employees have contributed $54,000 to city election campaigns since the 2001 election. The major recipients of this largesse have been Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, $12,000, Councilmember Jan Perry, $3,000, and Councilmember and City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss, $2,250.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sign Company Charged With Criminal Violations Wants City Held in Contempt of Court

Since when do we allow the outdoor advertising industry to set the rules? The sad part about this post from Ban Billboard Blight is that this isn't even really about fire safety. The myriad other reasons residents of the city have provided for not wanting gigantic consumer messages broadcast over their horizons have gone unheard. This is about the citizens demanding outdoor advertising be controlled and being dismissed at all levels. The fact that they are able to use fire safety as a reason to warrant removing this billboard, and even that is incapable of bringing this supergraphic down, is testament to LA's inability to control its outdoor advertising industry. Cities are not about making money, they are not audience for commercial messages. Cities are about the people who occupy them, and the health of all those individuals. If the residents feel threatened, overwhelmed, or are upset with aspects of that cities organization, they have the right to demand its correction.

VIA Ban Billboard Blight

10801-national
The Pennsylvania company charged with criminal violations of building and fire codes for covering windows of a West L.A. office building with a huge supergraphic advertising sign has asked a federal judge to hold the city in contempt of court. The company, World Wide Rush, claims that a 2008 injunction barring the city from forcing the removal of a supergraphic from a blank wall of the building also precludes any action against the second, much larger supergraphic that city officials say presents a hazard to the tenants in the event of a fire.

The company claims that its ”business and its business relationship will be irreparably damaged” if the city proceeds with prosecution. The injunction granted last summer barred the city from forcing World Wide Rush to remove a multi-story supergraphic ad for a Fox TV program affixed to one end of the 5-story office building at 10801 National Blvd. The judge in the case ruled that the city couldn’t ban the ad because it had allowed legal exceptions for similar supergraphics in special sign districts and specific plan areas in Hollywood and downtown.

In January of this year, a second supergraphic went up, this one stretching across all the windows on the longer wall of the building. When an order to take it down was ignored, the city attorney filed multiple criminal charges against World Wide Rush and the building owner.

The company is seeking the contempt of court order on the grounds that the injunction applied to the original supergraphic on the blank wall also precludes the city from taking any action to force removal of the supergraphic signs covering the building’s windows. The injunction states that the city cannot enforce its ban on “off-site” advertising signs at the address, but adds that “The City may inspect and verify Plaintiffs’ signs to ensure that they have been constructed according to applicable code provisions to ensure the safe construction of signs.”

In affadavits filed with the court, the company claims that the supergraphic sign meets the city’s standards for fireproof materials. The company also claims that no office tenants are put at risk by the material covering windows because the windows do not open. However, fire officials have said that firefighters might need to break through fixed windows to rescue people, or allow smoke to escape, and that the sign material could pose a hazard by impeding them.

The criminal complaints against World Wide Rush and the building owners are scheduled for hearing in L.A. County Superior Court
on Feb. 26.

For a building tenant’s point of view, check out the blog: 10801takesigndown. For more background, go here.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Billboard Confidential-KCET LA

VIA illegalsigns.ca

I found this series done by KCET LA on outdoor advertising in Los Angeles on Rami Tabello's illegalsigns.ca. This quote from part 3 of the series embodies the distrust which develops when a city fails to take care of its residents before it takes care of the outdoor advertising industry and huge profits. "It doesn't really seem like anybody cares and I don't really believe the city is capable of doing anything about it." With critical legal as well as safety issues being ignored by the outdoor advertising industry in LA and the lack of public support for outdoor advertising, it is amazing the city has not been more cavalier with the problem.

Part 3


Part 1


Part 2

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Los Angeles Steps Up Fight on Large Ads

Published: February 1, 2009

LOS ANGELES — This city has opened a new front in its longstanding battle with billboard companies, ordering building owners to remove so-called supergraphic signs, enormous advertisements draped across multistory structures, after deeming them fire hazards.

Los Angeles city officials said the signs, made mostly of vinyl, had proliferated since December, when the City Council passed a temporary ban on billboards and large signs. The stopgap move was an effort to give the city more time to close loopholes in a 2002 law intended to curtail billboard advertisements.

Jack Weiss, a city councilman who wrote the temporary ordinance, said the original legislation was supposed to put a stop to the supergraphic signs. “Instead,” Mr. Weiss said, “the supergraphic companies have plastered their signs up all over the city and are thumbing their noses at the law.”

“Many of these signs are dangerous,” he added. “They prevent people from getting out in case of fire, or firefighters from getting in.”

The Fire Department estimates that more than 100 buildings from downtown to the coast have illegal signs.

Inspectors have ordered 20 building owners to remove large signs, Mr. Weiss said, and will continue to issue warnings.

A violation of the billboard ordinance carries a maximum monthly fine of $2,500. But Mr. Weiss said the signs could bring in $100,000 in rent for building owners.

The city has been blocked from enforcing the 2002 law because of legal entanglements, including lawsuits by billboard companies over free-speech rights. In 2006 and 2007, the city settled lawsuits with three of the largest billboard companies — CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Regency — allowing them to convert as many as 850 print billboards to electronic ones.

Even so, the supergraphic signs seem to be gaining in popularity.

People in neighborhoods across the city have reported seeing work crews unfurling the banners at night and on weekends. Barbara Broide, who lives in the West Los Angeles district, said she and her neighbors had photographed workers in cranes mounting the signs with thick plastic cables before leaving in trucks piled high with more folded signs.

Ms. Broide, 55, said many neighborhood groups were frustrated by the lack of billboard regulation.

“These companies are not only not complying, but doing things dangerous to building occupants and firefighters,” Ms. Broide said. “And yet these signs seem to persist.”

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, February 1, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST OWNER OF 10801

If we are gonna talk about safety issues stemming from outdoor advertising, I think we should all read this. Property owners consistently disregard the safety of their tenants as well as the laws which are imposed on them by city governments. Often this is simply an economic issue, profits being far higher than the fines which are given for violations.

VIA 10801takesigndown

FRESH OFF THE PRESS:

We were just notified by Mary Clare Molidor, Sr. Asst. District Attorney, that a 23 count criminal complaint has been filed by the Criminal Branch of the City Attorney's Office today against Frank Rahban, owner of 10801 National Blvd, L.A. CA 90064 and others for defying an order by the Fire Department to remove this hazardous sign.

Frank Rahban put this illegal monstrous vinyl tarp (Called a Supergraphic) late Tuesday evening on Jan. 13, 2009 over the entire side of his 6 story office building, covering the windows and creating a serious fire hazard.

He was cited by the fire department for 2 serious fire code violations on Jan. 22, 2009 (see fire code violations handed down) and was given until Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 to have it removed. Today is Friday, Jan. 30th and it still remains affixed to the building.

Even with the knowledge of this illegal Supergraphic being a threat and a serious danger for all of the building occupants, Frank Rahban has elected to keep it up because of the revenues this sign is bringing in. He's aware that the fines are peanuts compared to what he will make on the sign, even if it's disregarding the lives of hundreds of tenants.

If the fines don't matter, then how about some global public shame.

SHAME ON YOU FRANK RAHBAN AND SHAME ON YOUR COHORTS:

Joe Agapay, Esq (council in the building representing Frank)
Lois Forshee-Agapay (building manager)
Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, Inc and their division Tropicana (Ad)
Barry Rush of World Wide Rush (Signage - trashing the landscape)

CLICK HERE TO GET FRANK RAHBAN'S CONTACT INFORMATION AND CALL, WRITE OR STOP BY HIS OFFICE.

Tell him that you can't put a price on a human life.

Another Yiddish word comes to mind to describe this kind of person:
Frank you're a GONIFFNoun - A thief or dishonest person or scoundrel (often used as a general term of abuse) ganef, ganof, gonif. Offender, wrongdoer - a person who transgresses moral or civil law.

Council member Jack Weiss and the LAFD held a press conference right outside the 10801 property just last Wed., Jan. 28, 2009 to attack the issue of these illegal signs and specifically mentioned that anyone not cooperating will have charges filed against them.

We want to thank the city attorney's office for keeping their word and taking action, thank the LAFD for all of their support, thank the media for a great job covering this issue and this particular story, and most of all thank the tenants of 10801.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Words Matter: How Redefining “Billboard” Helps Sign Companies and Developers Bring Us More Outdoor Advertising

VIA Ban Billboard Blight

A flat surface (as of a panel, wall, or fence) on which bills are posted. Specifically, a large panel designed to carry outdoor advertising. This is the definition of “Billboard” from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Other dictionary definitions vary slightly, but the central idea is the same, that a billboard is a surface or panel upon which outdoor advertising is placed.

Contrast that with the city planning department’s latest definition of billboard as “Any sign structure that accommodates a sign larger than 40 square feet that is erected or affixed to one or more poles, columns or posts, or is attached to a building or structure, but excluding an Integral Electronic Display Sign, Supergraphic Sign or Wall Sign.”

Where does this definition come from? The word billboard doesn’t even appear in the L.A. municipal sign code, which only distinguishes between on-site and off-site signs (ones advertising goods and services available on the premises versus those advertising goods and services sold elsewhere) and defines specific types of signs, such as pole signs, monument signs, ledge signs, and so forth.

Do we really care about this parsing of definitions? We ought to, because limiting the definition of billboard to exclude such things as supergraphic signs, digital signs, and wall signs is allowing developers to claim a reduction in “billboards” at the same time they seek entitlements for enormous amounts of new advertising signage. For instance, a lobbyist speaking on behalf of the Figueroa and Olympic Sign District last month told the city planning commission that adoption would actually result in billboard “reduction.” He was able to make this claim because some of the conventional variety on poles would be removed to make way for development, even though the proposed signage in the district would total almost 50,000 square feet.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, October 31, 2008

Supergraphic Signs: Are They Fire Safety Hazards? Councilman Says “Yes”

The language used by many anti billboard and general advertising blight advocates is troubling to me. I am well aware of the fact that in our culture a legal battle is often more immediately effective in the removal of outdoor advertising than a discussion about the negative consequences, to ourselves, and our city environment. The problem is these efforts remove outdoor advertising only to see it re-posted in the same location at a later time, or moved to another place entirely. In order to fully reform our city space to function for those people who live in that space, residents must understand their relationship to the city public and what that space should offer them. I help produce the illegal billboards website, which locates un-permitted illegal signage in New York, but as far as I'm concerned all outdoor advertising is illegal.

Via Ban Billboard Blight

Almost a year ago, city building inspectors raised this issue at a meeting of the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners.

These huge signs wrapped over the entire sides of buildings and covering windows could impede firefighters in an emergency, they said. And because almost all the signs have been put up without permits or inspections, they added, there isn’t any way to know if the material or manner of installation meets fire safety standards.

Now, City Councilman Jack Weiss wants the fire department to conduct sweeps to identify hazardous supergraphic signs, and get them immediately removed. At a press conference yesterday on Wilshire Blvd. with a huge supergraphic as a backdrop, Weiss also said he would introduce an ordinance to ban unsafe materials and installations.

“Supergraphics are going up all around the City and the advertising they carry has blocked views and architecture, but today we know that some of these supergraphics also are blocking escape routes and posing a safety hazard for people inside,” Weiss said.

A Fire Department official estimated that there are 90-100 such signs now installed on buildings throughout the city. Because these signs fall under the city’s 2002 ban on new off-site advertising signs, a number have been cited by building inspectors, but one sign company, World Wide Rush, sued the city and this past summer obtained a federal court injunction against enforcement of the ban.

The city council just this week received a communication from City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo regarding a closed-door meeting for a “settlement discussion” in that case. By now, everyone knows that the settlement Delgadillo negotiated with Clear Channel and other billboard companies in 2006 has turned out to be disastrous for the city, so stay tuned.

Weiss Press Release

KABC-TV video

World Wide Rush v. City of Los Angeles.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

    WORTH READING

    Eduardo Moises Penalver & Sonia Kaytal
    Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership

    Barbara Ehrenreich
    Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

    Lewis Hyde
    The Gift, Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

    Geoffrey Miller
    Spent: Sex, Evolution, & Consumer Behavior

    Sharon Zukin
    The Cultures of Cities

    Miriam Greenberg
    Branding New York

    Naomi Klein
    No Logo

    Kalle Lasn
    Culture Jam

    Stuart Ewen
    Captains of Consciousness

    Stuart Ewen
    All Consuming Images

    Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
    Channels of Desire

    Jeff Ferrell
    Crimes of Style

    Jeff Ferrell
    Tearing Down the Streets

    John Berger
    Ways of Seeing

    Joe Austin
    Taking the Train

    Rosalyn Deutsche
    Evictions art + spatial politics

    Jane Jacobs
    Death+Life of American Cities