Failure to Get the Memo: New L.A. Bus Shelter Ads With Guns

Suicide Squad

Earlier this summer, the bus shelter pictured above displayed an ad for the movie, “Central Intelligence,” which depicted two men brandishing and blasting away with guns. But after complaints were raised about the bus shelter’s proximity to nearby schools, the ad was changed to a public service message featuring Smokey the Bear.  (more…)

Latest Outdoor Ad Scourge: Illegal Signs on Plywood Walls

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A dozen years ago, a company called MetroLights put up hundreds of unpermitted advertising signs that mimicked the legal bus shelter and kiosk signs on public sidewalks. A few years later scofflaw companies named SkyTag, World Wide Rush, and Vanguard draped buildings all over the city with multi-story supergraphic signs. Now an unknown company is blighting the landscape with unpermitted advertising signs on plywood walls thrown up around businesses, churches, and other sites.


L.A. Billboard Companies Maintain Big Lobbying Push in 2014

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With major signage issues pending before the City Council, L.A. billboard companies spent just over $1 million lobbying city officials in the first six months of 2014, according to City Ethics Commission reports.  Reports are required to be filed quarterly, and the three-month period ending June 30 marked the sixth straight quarter that billboard companies paid more than half a million dollars to firms to lobby on their behalf.

As usual, the leader of the lobbying parade was Clear Channel Outdoor, the billboard division of the Texas media giant, Clear Channel Communications.  The company that has mounted a highly-visible public effort to persuade the City Council to allow more digital billboards paid four different lobbying firms a total of $241,000 for the six-month period.

Others writing big checks to lobbyists were CBS Outdoor, at $195,000; JC Decaux, at $189,00; and Lamar Advertising, at $136,000.  CBS Outdoor and Lamar, along with Clear Channel, are also members of the Los Angeles Outdoor Advertising Coalition, which spent $122,972 to influence city decision-makers.

Louisiana-based Lamar is suing the city to force it to issue permits for 45 new digital billboards.   JC Decaux, a French company with international operations, holds the current advertising contract for LAX and other city airports.

Other lobbying expenditures by billboard companies are as follows:

Regency Outdoor    $62,727
Van Wagner $60,111   (note: Van Wagner billboards were recently acquired by CBS Outdoor)
Summit Media $28,937
National Promotions & Advertising  $12,075
Titan Outdoor $7,500

The Ethics Commission reports show that a total of 23 lobbying firms were registered to lobby on behalf of one or more of the nine billboard companies.

L.A. Billboard Companies Open Money Spigot for Lobbying

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Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor and other billboard companies spent more than $1.5 million lobbying city council members and other L.A. officials in the first six months of this year, according to reports filed with the City Ethics Commission. That’s more than three times the amount the companies spent lobbying in the same period of 2012. (more…)

Billboard Companies Ramp Up Lobbying in 2013

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Billboard companies spent almost $700,000 lobbying Los Angeles city officials in the first quarter of this year, according to City Ethics Commission records. That’s a threefold increase over the amount the companies spent in the same three-month period of 2012.


Who’s Supporting Whom? L.A. Billboard Company Campaign Contributions

Ad copy for billboard donated by CBS Outdoor

Ad copy for billboard donated by CBS Outdoor

Billboard companies and their employees have contributed $162,000 to this year’s municipal election campaigns, according to City Ethics Commission records.


Lobbyists at Work: Billboard Companies Spend Heavily in Advance of Sign Ordinance Hearing

Billboard companies spent almost $400,000 lobbying L.A. city officials in the first six months of this year, according to reports filed with the City Ethics Commission. The spending comes in the run-up to tomorrow’s City Council committee hearing on a new citywide sign ordinance.


San Francisco Loses Round in Legal Fight Over “Mom and Pop Store” Billboards

Contest Promotions sign in L.A. advertising movie "Repo Man." Sign has city permit for "on-site" advertising.

In 2002, voters in San Francisco overwhelmingly approved a no-exceptions ban on all new billboards and other forms of off-site advertising.  However, last week an L.A.-based sign company won a ruling in federal court that could seriously undermine that ban, and may have implications for the effort to limit outdoor advertising here in Los Angeles.


Contest Promotions Signs: Helping Mom & Pop Stores, Or Creating Illegal Blight?

Sign, left, on outside wall of laundromat, right

Going to a laundromat to buy cottage cheese or sour cream isn’t something most people would think of doing, and in fact those products aren’t for sale in the  laundromat pictured above.   Nevertheless, the sign on the side of the building advertising Knudsen dairy products is permitted as an on-site sign, defined by city code as one directing attention to a product or service offered on the premises.