updated 05:05 pm EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Image deemed illegal safety hazard
An iPod touch ad is one of two "supergraphics" the city of Los Angeles has ordered removed, according to the LA Times. A cease-and-desist request has been acknowledged by CBS Outdoor, the firm responsible for the signs. Both ads can be found at 1025 North Highland Avenue, and are roughly 11 stories in size, dominating opposite sides of the building there.
The signs have been called a safety hazard by prosecutors as well as neighbors. One neighbor in a nearby building, Robert Eicholz, notes that the Touch ad broke free in the middle of a storm, splitting in two and falling to the ground. LA's chief deputy attorney, William Carter, also notes that the ads could make it hard for firefighters to enter the building during an emergency.
CBS Outdoor could be subject to still more punishments. "There are past violations that have to be addressed, as well as potential penalties, as well as disgorgement of any unlawful proceeds," Carter adds. The company nevertheless says it disagrees with the premise of the cease-and-desist, and that it wants to negotiate for a reduction and relocation of the signs that would provide "substantial benefits" to the city.
The case marks the second time in recent months that a giant Apple ad has been removed. The other incident occurred last November in Boston, when an ad measuring approximately 13,750 square feet was pulled and replaced with an mural depicting orcas. In contrast with LA, the Boston situation has been tinged with corruption allegations, suggesting that an aide to the mayor arranged an illegal permit on behalf of a business colleague -- one who is also a regular donor to the mayor's political campaigns.