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June 18, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Gov. Bob Holden signed a bill in Kansas City banning sexually suggestive billboards that promote strip clubs and other adult businesses. The ban applies within one mile of Missouri highways. "We have the right to drive the highways of this state without children being assaulted by these images," Holden said. Some billboards in Missouri portray scantily clad women and read "Live Nude" or "Red Hot Nude."
May 30, 2004 | Dan Neil, Dan Neil is The Times' automotive critic. He was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for criticism.
In the not-too-distant future, billboards may become obsolete, replaced by holographic advertisements projected onto car windshields by the vehicles' own "enhanced vision" systems -- a technology that will allow drivers to see, for instance, movie starting times superimposed over theaters they pass, or lunch specials available at a restaurant. These airy figments of virtual shilling will know you better than you know yourself.
May 7, 2004 | Mike Penner, Times Staff Writer
It was a diamond within a diamond within a diamond, a 4-inch-by-4-inch swatch of red on a white base on a dirt-brown infield. Smaller than a bag of peanuts, smaller than a box of Cracker Jack, it caused the sport of baseball to sputter and actually concede a possible mistake, which is a kind of superpower Spider-Man no doubt would like to learn. One day after Major League Baseball announced plans to load the bases with advertising for the upcoming movie "Spider-Man 2," the bags are empty again.
August 31, 2003 | Michael T. Jarvis, Special to The Times
Their words have entered the pop-culture lexicon, and their names are part of the running conversation about the movies. But the faces of screenwriters, even the most famous, have long been eclipsed by those of the actors who bring their lines to life. A new ad campaign by the Writers Guild of America, west, however, reverses the usual order of things.
August 10, 2003 | Kathleen Flynn, Times Staff Writer
Real-estate advertisements, movie release posters, fliers for garage sales and announcements of lost pets all would lose their space on utility poles and other public property under a crackdown proposed by a Los Angeles city councilman. Councilman Greig Smith said he sees the proliferation of illegal signs as something like "broken windows syndrome," in which small problems lead to larger crimes."It eventually leads to blight," Smith said.
January 25, 2003 | From Times Staff Reports
A sign company has launched the first independent expenditure campaign in the Los Angeles City Council's 12th District race, providing billboards worth $45,000 to promote the candidacy of Greig Smith. On a leave of absence as chief of staff to Councilman Hal Bernson, Smith is one of six candidates competing in the March 4 election to succeed the incumbent, who is prevented by term limits from seeking reelection.
Mark Kudler first looked at the Century Freeway viaduct a decade ago and didn't see concrete. He saw gold. To the billboard entrepreneur, each passing car, each pair of eyes was worth money--$15 million total, he figured. Once Kudler went to work, he wasn't the only one who saw a chance to get rich. A billboard lobbyist asked Kudler for $1 million to help get approval from the city of Lynwood. A competitor promised the city as much as $4 million.
August 3, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Environmentalists and Atlanta area civic leaders wary of sprawl have complained for years about the huge billboards that dot suburban skylines, criticizing them as enormous eyesores. After the collapse of a billboard Thursday in suburban Snellville that killed three workers, the critics say the signs are dangerous too. The mayor of Snellville called an emergency City Council meeting and demanded that six similar billboards nearby be dismantled.
July 24, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday agreed to begin charging billboard companies an annual fee to pay for the inventory and inspection of signs in the city. Starting Oct. 1, billboard owners will be required to pay the city $315 per sign each year in exchange for a certificate, which must be affixed to each billboard. The program is intended to help city inspectors identify illegal signs, estimated at about 4,000 citywide.
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously rejected a billboard company's demand for $15.6 million in compensation for tearing down a dozen billboards on Santa Monica Boulevard on the Westside. The ads, located on publicly owned medians, are to be removed as part of a $69-million plan to turn the main road and Little Santa Monica Boulevard into one wide, tree-lined thoroughfare between Century City and the San Diego Freeway.
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