Billboard Companies and PSA’s: Public Service, or Lip Service?

Clear Channel billboard, left, and CBS bus shelter sign, right, violate industry code of practices regarding proximity to schools and churches

Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor, and other big sign companies regularly tout the value of billboards for PSA’s, or public service announcements.  But when it comes to following their own industry code of practices the companies aren’t so public-spirited and community-minded.

Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor are both members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, whose “Code of Industry Principles” prohibits advertisements for products illegal for sale to minors within 500 ft. of schools, playgrounds, and places of worship.  Clear Channel Outdoor’s own “Code of Advertising Practices” includes the same proscription.

So what is the Clear Channel billboard advertising Miller Lite beer doing directly across the street from Congregation Kol Ami, a Jewish synagogue and religious school on La Brea Ave?  And what is the CBS Outdoor bus shelter sign advertising Don Julio tequila doing less than 500 feet up the street?

One of the latest PSA’s that Clear Channel made sure the world knew about is a rotation of the late John Wooden’s sayings on the company’s digital billboard networks.  So what would the legendary UCLA basketball coach think about the company’s disregard of its own advertising code?

Also see article about CBS Outdoor billboard advertising liquor near a church in the Silverlake area.

Dennis Hathaway

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