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Careful about 'terrorist' label

March 27, 2009

Re "A stop sign for L.A. billboards," Opinion, March 21

I own a small consulting business in Los Angeles working with independent outdoor advertising companies. Lately I cringe every morning with the latest attack on my industry by The Times.

Tim Rutten's Op-Ed article compelled me to comment. "Frankly," he said, "trying to be reasonable with the billboard lobby is like negotiating with terrorists."

Comparing negotiating with outdoor advertising companies to dealing with terrorists is beyond offensive; that word should not be thrown around lightly to describe a legal form of advertising. The Times never mentions the jobs that could be lost or the thousands of dollars in public-service advertising that those same companies donate every year.

And by the way, The Times bought space on those same digital boards as recently as last fall.

John Montague

Los Angeles

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