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
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2006 @ 7:42am

    I agree that he should not have taken it upon himself to remove signs that were not on his personal property, unless of course he had the consent of the owners of the respective properties (preferably in writing, which will hold up in court). However, I do understand and respect the motive. Advertising companies don't seem to understand the concept of self-retraint these days and they seem to get away with just about anything anymore.

    As for the police, lack of resources? Please. To take down all the illegal signs, yes, there are not enough resources. BUT, that would be foolish because they're not attacking the source of the problem. Companies that put up signs like that should be slapped with a court order to cease and desist and remove all illegal signs, lest they become the subject of a lawsuit with a strong case against them. There are way to deal with people who abuse the system. These companies need to learn that they have to follow the rules just like anybody else.

    Now, just for the record, does that mean all types of advertising are illegal? Of course not. Once in a while I get something slid under my apartment door or hung on the door handle. Yes, it's annoying, but illegal, no, not as long as they don't enter my rented property without my permission and they don't use my property to advertise to others. Using one's private property to advertise to people other than the property owners is not only illegal, but also a very bad example of business ethics, or simply lack thereof.

    So I say, go ahead, give the guy a slap on the wrist for his slipup, but don't treat the guy like a convicted felon just because he tried to stand up for us little guys in the battle against extremely excessive advertising. Advertising is meant to make your product or service known to people. It was never meant to cram junk down your throat that nobody ever wants or needs, which is exactly what things like spam do.

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