Question: What Do These Two L.A. Billboards Have In Common? Answer: AEG’s Philip Anschutz

Top, billboard by Foundation For A Better Life; bottom, billboard at L.A. Live

Philip Anschutz is best known in Los Angeles as the absentee owner of downtown’s Staples Center and the L.A. Live entertainment complex. But the Colorado billionaire is also founder of The Foundation For a Better Life, a nationwide non-profit that makes extensive use of billboards for the display of messages promoting “inspirational” values such as courage, compassion, and responsibility, among others. (more…)

Advertising In Parks: The Public Interest and the Arrogance of Power

Left, Judith Kieffer, executive director of the L.A. Parks Foundation; right, Barry Sanders, president of the Recreation and Parks Commission

Given the opportunity of a TV interview to discuss the propriety of a plan to sell space in L.A. city parks for commercial ads, Barry Sanders, president of the Recreation and Parks Commission, adopted the tone of an authoritarian parent addressing slightly dimwitted children and proceeded to explain why critics—including a city council member and the city attorney’s office– misunderstood almost everything about the plan that first surfaced last fall when the commission voted to allow Warner Bros. to put images from its upcoming “Yogi Bear” movie in three of the city’s most popular parks. (more…)

Wilshire Grand Sign District: Or, How to Diss the City Attorney (and Game the System)

Some of the signage proposed for Wilshire Grand project. (Photoshop approximation by Curbed LA)

Was the City Attorney’s office deliberately excluded from discussions between L.A. city planners and the developer of the new Wilshire Grand project downtown regarding the establishment of a sign district that would legally allow sign types prohibited by ordinance citywide?  At last week’s City Planning Commission meeting where the sign district was approved, a project lobbyist said that developers had been discussing the signage with planners for more than a year, while a representative of the City Attorney’s office said the signage details had been provided to his office less than a week before the meeting. (more…)

L.A. Live Hotel Gets Two Giant Supergraphic Ads, Three More May Be Coming

Toyota supergraphic on ballroom of Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriot Hotel. The sign at right is on the hotel parking structure.

Our friends at Curbed LA have posted a photo of a large Coca-Cola supergraphic being installed on the west side of the brand new Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Hotel in the L.A. Live area downtown.  From the tenor of comments to that post, it seems most people think such advertising is crass and tacky, especially given the geographic and architectural prominence of the building.

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The First Annual Ban Billboard Blight Awards

Since there are plenty of year-end awards given to people and organizations doing good works, we thought we’d start an annual (for 2009, anyway) list of those in the world of outdoor advertising here in L.A. whom we believe to be particularly deserving of recognition for less than felicitous deeds.

We Told You So: New Legal Challenge to L.A.’s Latest Billboard Ban Cites Permits Issued For Signs in Defiance of City Attorney’s Advice

Regal Cinema & Hollywood Roosevelt

Regal Cinemas, left, as seen from freeway; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, right

Three weeks after the City Attorney told City Council members that issuing permits for six off-site advertising signs in downtown’s L.A. Live area could jeopardize the no-exceptions sign ban approved by the council in August, a lawsuit in federal court has cited those permits among a number of reasons the ban should be declared unconstitutional.

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