The American Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a New York City billboard campaign that cost taxpayers $500,000 to produce, ruling that the campaign violated the city’s ban on billboards.
The case, Billboard, is the latest in a string of billboard controversies, including a billboard controversy in Washington, D.C., that cost the city $500 million and a billboard that cost $400 million to produce.
Last month, the city of Los Angeles also lost a lawsuit that challenged a billboard campaign it launched in 2006, in which it ran ads calling for the death of a woman.
The court ruled Tuesday that the city has not demonstrated that it has been harmed by the billboard campaign.
It cited several reasons including the lack of advertising, the absence of a valid business purpose and the fact that the billboard is not a government advertisement.
The court also said the city did not show that it was willing to spend the additional money to protect the billboard’s artistic value.
In a statement, the billboard project’s attorney, Mark Bittman, called the ruling a victory for artists and public officials across the country who have been battling the billboard ban.
“This case is an important win for artists, public officials, and the general public,” he said in a statement.
“The court recognized the importance of public participation and found that the public’s right to know what is in their own neighborhoods, as well as the protection of public health, is important in evaluating whether a city’s billboard policy is lawful.”
The billboard campaign was not designed to target or offend anyone, but was instead designed to encourage citizens to be aware of the dangers of littering and littering that are an ongoing problem in our neighborhoods.