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…)

L.A.’s Digital Billboard Debate: It’s the Revenue, Stupid

This Clear Channel digital billboard was shut off by court order in 2013.

This Clear Channel digital billboard was shut off by court order in 2013.

The political debate over allowing new digital billboards in L.A. has little to do with issues like traffic safety, light pollution and energy use. In fact, it’s not even a debate in the classic sense but can be characterized as an interplay of two powerful desires. Clear Channel and other big billboard companies badly want to put up the electronic signs on city streets and freeways and the City Council desperately wants to find new sources of revenue.

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Movie Ads, Gun Violence, and Smokey the Bear

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On Wednesday morning, people traveling busy Lincoln Blvd. in Venice could have seen the bus shelter ad pictured at left above while listening on their car radios to news of a UCLA professor being shot to death in his office. Whether or not that grim news would have triggered any reflection upon the propriety of using the city’s public sidewalks for a display of men blasting away with guns is impossible to know.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, Guns and Sex—Staples of Outdoor Advertising in Los Angeles

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Students coming to Animo Venice Charter High school by bus from areas like Inglewood and South L.A. get off at a stop on Venice Blvd. and walk a half mile north on Lincoln Blvd. to the school campus. One a recent school day, this is what they’d have seen on their way to morning classes.

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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…)

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign: The New LAX?

 

Simulation of digital and supergraphic signs on LAX parking structures

Simulation of digital and supergraphic signs on LAX parking structures.  The signage is part of a total of 371,000 sq. ft. of commercial advertising proposed for the airport terminal area

Travelers using the Los Angeles International Airport could be confronted with a sea of digital, supergraphic and other outdoor ads for products like cars, movies, electronic devices and alcoholic beverages if a recently proposed airport sign district wins city approval. The total square footage of commercial advertising signs to be placed on terminal walls, wrapped around columns and attached to the faces of pedestrian bridges and parking structures would be the equivalent of 550 full-size billboards.

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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.

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L.A. Billboard Companies Ramped Up Lobbying in 2012

Advertisement at LAX terminal.  The airport advertising contract is held by JC Decaux, which spent $345,000 lobbying city officials last year.

Nissan ad at LAX terminal. The airport advertising contract is held by JC Decaux, which spent $345,000 lobbying city officials last year.

Billboard companies spent over $1.23 million lobbying City Council members and other public officials in 2012, according to reports filed with the City Ethics Commmission. That figure is almost 50 per cent higher than the amount the companies paid to lobbyists in 2011.

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Proposed Alcohol Ad Ban Finally Sees Some Action

An effort to ban alcohol advertising on city-owned property in L.A. has finally taken an important–if tentative–step forward after languishing for almost ten months in the City Council’s public safety committee.

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