<body> Public Ad Campaign: NPA contracts-Evidence of Extralegal Behavior
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

NPA contracts-Evidence of Extralegal Behavior

Over the years I have gained access to a few NPA City Outdoor contracts. I haven't posted them mainly because I thought it might just piss off NPA and not be of much interest to others. Recently I changed my mind due to the particularly fast removal of a project I just took part in, as well as a book I am reading which has strengthened my resolve. I will post on this book next week as I would like to finish it before giving my small review.

With the NYSAT Micro Site we have provided every scrap of evidence needed for the NYC Sign Enforcement Unit to go after NPA tooth and nail. The fact that the city has failed to challenge the company as an entity and still goes after individual signs is frustrating to say the least. It is incredibly hard to understand why the city wouldn't at least go after a minimum $10,000.00 fine at each of their 500 locations, resulting in 5 million in city revenue. Either way, I know the department is incredibly under staffed and is doing a difficult job, I just don't see why it isn't done smarter.

The first 4 contracts are between NPA City Outdoor and private landlords for the operation of illegal Wildposting on NYC construction sheds. These ads are across the board illegal because NYC does not allow this type of signage period. This fact is clearly state on the DOB website, yet here we are looking at contractual agreements for this type of signage as recently as 2009. Part of the reason this type of outdoor advertising is illegal is that it inevitably ends up in shambles blighting our city more than the advertising itself.

The first thing I would like to point out is the termination agreement which states, "Lessor or Lessee can terminate this agreement at any time after 30 days written notice. However Lessor cannot terminate this agreement for the purpose of replacing NPA's product with that of another advertising company." Really?

The second thing I will point out is the content restriction clause which states, "Lessee shall not permit any advertisement which contains lewd, lascivious, or pornographic content." I could care less about what some consider "lewd" material but I find it funny I have been staring at a bare breast for the past few weeks while the Diesel campaign has been up and running.

And finally this last contract is between Go Poster (Purchased by NPA) and East Village Farms at 98 Avenue A. This location is where 2 people were arrested during the first NYSAT project and has recently been removed by a landlord facing 250,000.00 in fines due to the illegal advertising. The landlord at this location speaks very little english and is having a hard time dealing with this violation. Meanwhile NPA, who also received $250,000.00 in fines has put their lawyer Robert Hochman on the case and will probably walk away from this little indiscretion unscathed. Upset yet? Compounding this situation is the fact that the landlord at 98 avenue A did not even sign this contract, and had no knowledge of the illegality of the signage. In fact it was a night employee who put their John Hancock on this "contract." If you were erecting a sign on my property would you ask a tenant to sign the contract? All of this is made more absurd by the fact that Contest Promotions Inc was in the process of applying for an accessory business sign permit at this location without the landlord or deli owners knowledge just prior to them removing it. Long story short, NPA and CPI are the same company. Operating illegal advertising signage is punishable with a fine of up to $25,000. If each location that now holds illegal NPA advertising had an accessory bussines sign permit for those structures, they could claim that they were merely "improperly" using these signs. The fine associated with improper use of a business sign is on par with a parking ticket.

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