Earlier this month
we noticed that the Conor Harrington piece at the corner of 13th and Washington was covered up by an illegal and unpermitted NPA advertising panel. Yesterday the Public Ad Campaign, who targeted the company's billboards during a takeover in April, uncovered the colorful piece of artwork and reclaimed the space... for now.
Improv Everywhere's Charlie Todd calls out the company's ongoing shenanigans, saying "The city is not getting paid. Instead, they pay the landlords of the buildings they use. Citizens are forced to look at advertising all over NYC because this company has illegally plastered their ads all over town. For whatever reason, the city looks the other way and rarely cracks down on them."
If the NYPD is fining street artists and sending taggers to jail, should they be doing the same to companies putting up illegal ads on our walls? Todd points out that after the aforementioned April takeover of some of these billboards, the NPA found a loophole and added a sign to each panel stating: “Coming soon to this location: a chance to win these posters and other prizes inside.” The catch being it's illegal for a landlord to put an advertisement on the side of a building, "but it’s not illegal to put up a sign advertising products that are for sale inside." Of course, there aren't actually any products inside either, but that's where the whole "Coming Soon" caveat comes into play.