Latest Court Ruling: Is L.A. Facing a Deluge of New Digital Billboards?

Lamar Advertising billboard on Olympic Blvd.  This billboard isn't digital, but the company is suing to put up 45 new digital ones like this one.  The billboard pictured has no permit on file with the city of L.A.

Lamar Advertising billboard on Olympic Blvd. This billboard isn’t digital, but the company is suing to put up 45 new digital ones like it. The double-sided billboard  also has no permit on file with the city of L.A.

Now that Superior Court judge Luis Lavin has ruled that L.A.’s 2002 ban on new billboards violates the California Constitution, what’s next? Are new billboards going to be sprouting like hothouse mushrooms along the city’s major thoroughfares? Especially digital billboards, with their ability to attract the attention of drivers with their Jumbotron-like graphics and rapidly changing ads for cars, fast food, booze, electronic gadgets, and what seems like every movie and TV show about to hit theaters and home entertainment centers?

(more…)

More Billboards Coming To Los Angeles? Judge Rules City’s Off-Site Sign Ban Unconstitutional

Lamar Advertising has won a major court battle in its fight to put up new digital billboards like this one in Los Angeles

Lamar Advertising has won a major court battle in its fight to put up new digital billboards like this one in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has been trying to shed its label as the country’s billboard capital, but Clear Channel and other companies pushing to put up new digital billboards got a major boost this week when a Superior Court judge ruled that the city’s ban on new off-site signs violates the free speech guarantee of the California state constitution.

(more…)

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

Lobbying 3

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.

Offended by Billboard Ads? Then Say NO to More Billboards

Clear Channel billboard in Venice.

Clear Channel billboard in Los Angeles

Quite a few people seem to think that billboard ads for FX’s new TV series, “The Strain,” not only cross the line between good and bad taste but use the public viewscape to display inappropriate content to children. And some wonder why such content is allowed where parents have no control short of covering their children’s eyes when driving the city streets.

(more…)

Alcohol, Gambling, Fast Food, Guns: How Billboards Harm Disadvantaged Communities

Miller Lite 2

The Latino community of Boyle Heights just east of downtown Los Angeles has one of the highest poverty rates in the city. People in that community are also exposed to more billboard ads for alcohol and gambling than other, higher-income areas, according to a study by USC researchers.

(more…)

Amnesty for Hundreds of L.A. Billboards Without Permits?

One of 744 non-permitted billboards in L.A.  On Glendale billboard in Echo Park area.

One of 744 non-permitted billboards in L.A. On Glendale billboard in Echo Park area.

The Los Angeles city planning department is proposing that 744 billboards without permits on file be granted legal status because of the difficulty of determining when they were erected and whether or not they complied with regulations in effect at that time.

(more…)

New Digital Billboards Coming to L.A. Freeway?

Area proposed for new digital billboards

Area proposed for new digital billboards

New digital billboards could be coming to L.A. residents and motorists on one of the busiest stretches of freeway in the city, thanks to a proposal being considered by Culver City, an island of 40,000 people surrounded by Los Angeles.

(more…)

Coalition of Blight: Billboard Companies and Art Museums

Billboard 1

To say that billboards are a delivery system for commercial advertising is to state the obvious to anyone who sees them looming above city streets, hung from the sides of buildings, or affixed to bus shelters, subway walls, and other public amenities. But because many people regard this intrusion into the landscape as both visual blight and an unhealthy commercialization of public space, the public relations arm of the billboard industry conducts regular campaigns to convince people that billboards are much more than just a platform for selling cars, fast food, movies, and myriad other products and services.

(more…)

L.A. Billboard Companies Doubled Down on Lobbying in 2013

Lobbying 3

Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor, and other billboard companies spent $2.8 million lobbying Los Angeles city officials in 2013, according to City Ethics Commission reports. That’s more than double the $1.2 million spent by those companies in 2012 to influence City Council members and other officeholders.

(more…)

New Digital Billboards For Los Angeles: Where? How?

Digital billboard alongside Chicago expressway.  That city recently okayed more than 30 of the double-faced billboards in exchange for payment of fees and a percentage of sign revenue.

Digital billboard alongside Chicago expressway. That city recently okayed more than 30 of the double-faced billboards in exchange for payment of fees and a percentage of sign revenue.

To some Los Angeles politicians, digital billboards–or “electronic message centers” in popular ad industry and government parlance–are potential ATM’s filled with ready cash to pay for a variety of city services.

(more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »