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Billboards Gone Wild

la billboard comic

Both Moscow and Los Angeles are tackling serious billboard problems. In Los Angeles bright LED screens shine across neighborhoods, intruding into homes and distracting drivers. In Moscow, the historic areas around the Kremlin are marred by endless billboards. Both these cities are taking aggressive action to remove and slow the encroachment of these ads. One unique approach in Moscow is the city’s strategy of phasing in the restrictions and compensating the ad-industry for losses on unexpired contracts with their billboard clients. Ad companies will be compensated for each surface that is removed.

Here in New York City, when the Buildings Department finally issued rules for city for billboards in 2006 to a new law regulating outdoor advertising passed in 2001, the city was promptly sued by an outdoor advertising company and the city has failed to enforce regulations while the lawsuit is pending. Once the lawsuit has been resolved, we hope the city will start using the effective regulations that are in place to curb an industry that is rapidly overrunning our city.