Ad Exec Arrested For Removing Illegal Roadside Advertisements

from the please-explain dept

It's no secret that we live in an age of aggressive (and perhaps excessive) advertising. Advertising is absolutely everywhere -- and apparently one ad exec got fed up. He discovered one of those "street side" signs that advertisers stick into the ground alongside roads on his own property. He removed it and then began removing many more. He called up local authorities who told him that it was illegal to place those signs on private property or on public property, but said they didn't have the resources to go around removing them. That seemed like an opportunity, so he began removing them -- sometimes calling the companies advertised in the signs to offer his services as an ad exec to provide more effective, less annoying, advertisements (not surprisingly, none have taken him up on the offer). However, for some reason, he's now been arrested for theft over the signs. It's not clear if the article is leaving out some sort of detail or what, but it's hard to see how removing an illegal advertising sign should be considered theft.

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  1. identicon
    A Non-e-mouse, 28 Aug 2006 @ 3:41pm


    "A private citizen does not have the right to remove and dispose of those signs since they're not on his private property."

    BS. It's not legal property, it's littering. I see people all the time going in groups to remove litter. This is the same as dropping trash on the street corner. If someone left a stereo laying on the corner (as in never planned to return and claim it), it's not theft for someone to either take or throw it away.

    Why? Because it's no longer private property. You can't steal what nobody no longer owns. Now, it IS illegal to remove signs from someone else's property, because its on their property. But if it is out in public, and obviously not owned by the city, well... tough luck. And also, many organizations are sponsors of the roadway, who are responsible for picking it up. They also certainly have the right to remove anything long that road.

    Don't start telling me now that we need a right to pick up litter now. Anal retentive city councils and lawyers need to get the advertising picket stick out of their butts. First, a city council acts and shuts down that kid for an illegal sign, and everyone goes nuts about overstepping their bounds, then some private citizen tries to curb the problem, and everyone goes nuts again.

    I'd like to go to the houses of those who have raised big stinks over these two, and 1" outside their property, put thousands of signs of every size up.

    Don't touch them, you'll be a thief!

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