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L.A. Cracks Down Hard on Use of Office Buildings as Billboards

Dragonbillboard For those of you who want to use the facades of buildings as giant, but illegal, billboards for your product or service, the price just went way up.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in L.A., at least, the war against so-called "supergraphics" escalated last week when the city threw businessman Kayvan Setareh in jail for posting an eight-story movie advertisement on an office building at one of Hollywood's busiest intersections. Although Setareh is only accused of three misdemeanor code violations, he is being held on $1 million bail.

Setareh reportedly had workers use bolts and wire to wrap the giant new ad around the face of an office building in which he has an ownership interest. The building is on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, a major tourist destination along Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The "unpermitted image" bolted to the building was an ad for the film "How to Train Your Dragon," and city officials believe it was timed to coincide with the Academy Awards ceremony next week. "When they do red carpet coverage, they're going to have live shots going east down Hollywood Boulevard, so anybody who's got a sign up there is going to get television time," an executive from a preservation group that complained about the ad explained.

One of the risks of supergraphics installed without a permit is a supposed threat to public safety. The supergraphic may weigh thousands of pounds, and, if not properly bolted on, the sign could fall on people below on busy streets. It also covers many windows, making it difficult for firefighters to enter during an emergency, city officials stated. Still, many are dismayed at the $1 million bail amount, which is typically reserved for crimes such as homicide, rape and kidnapping.

Posted by Bruce Carton on March 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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