<body> Public Ad Campaign: Contest Promotions Wins Supreme Court Battle and Permits Are Being Issued
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Contest Promotions Wins Supreme Court Battle and Permits Are Being Issued

old Contest Promotions Signage attached to garage and showing movie posters.

It really is the wild west out there. Contest Promotions, operating under a bogus business model which purports that their illegal 1st party signage is actually legal 3rd party signage, recently sued the city of New York after being fined and asked to remove their illegal signs. They claimed that "the Department of Buildings' determination that Contest Promotions' sign model fails to qualify as permissible 'accessory use' is arbitrary, capricious and affected by errors of law."

Demanding that the city recognize their signage as 3rd party, or accessory use, they argue that the advertisements which adorn the sides of many buildings in NYC are a vital component of the mom and pop business model. Without such "promotional" material they have determined these mom and pop businesses, many of which are delis, would fall victim to the big box stores and be forced to close. In their arguments, the signage reminds passersby that specific products are available inside the establishment as is the expectation of all 3rd party signage. As evidence of this fact, they submitted a photo of an advertisement on the side of Roberto's Grocery which is for Tropicana orange juice. While Roberto's Grocery most likely sells OJ, the fact of the matter is that the advertisements often placed at these locations are for movies, concerts and music, all of which are not sold at deli's or the other myriad types of business to which these signs are affixed. Basically I am saying this argument is bullshit and tantamount to Contest Promotions lying to the city of NY outright.
It seems that A Supreme Court decision, rendered by Justice Rakower, requires DOB to approve permits for signs applied for in conformance with a “model” put forth by Contest Promotions. This decision is obviously under appeal, but in the meantime expect Contest Promotions to be out in droves, updating their signage and making things as "official" as possible while they have the green light. Obviously this is very upsetting to me as it proves once again that the city, and by extension its citizenry, is often held hostage by the whims of advertising companies hellbent on making huge profits off of the use of our public environment. It shows how difficult it is to fight this industry and a culture of commercialism, not to mention how our tax dollars are used to hold back the oncoming flood. I am truly dumbfounded by the system in this situation, expecting a city to be able to locate an illegal advertisement and or advertising company and simply have them removed. Instead, the city locates clearly illegal ads and in this case an entire company operating illegally, and then must jump through hoops for years in order to fight against the onslaught of lawyers put forth by these ill tempered business'.
Remember that this is the same company that once called themselves National Promotions of America, plastered our city and our construction sheds with illegal signage and generally created mayhem on the streets. When they were caught red handed, they dissolved NPA and re-opened as Contest Promotions on a new business model claiming that they were not advertising at all. For them to seriously claim that they are here to help the city makes me loose faith in reason and wonder if the world isn't spinning backwards. If helping Mom & Pops is so important, why do they pay only 50 dollars to rent the sides of these buildings, most likely paying landlords and not business owners in the end anyways. The whole thing reeks of abuse at the expense of our neighborhoods and collective psyche.
Read the entire legal document [HERE]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I walked in to one of their stores once and there were some folded up poster stuck in a lucite box. Not really much of a prize (booby prize perhaps). Definitely not something I would put in my den!

But look at it on the bright side JS.... The battle continues and you seem to really like battles. And besides, you will have some more space "take over" with your "art".


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