Is the administration dragging its feet on municipal advertising?

municipal advertising darrell clarke
Council President Darrell Clarke wants the administration to step up when it comes to municipal advertising. (Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro).

An exchange on the topic of municipal advertising between members of Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration and members of City Council became heated during a hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Council President Darrell Clarke has long been pushing the city to generate additional revenue by leasing ad space on city-owned property – which could be anything from municipal vehicles and bus shelters to the facades of city buildings.

But Managing Director Richard Negrin – who was two weeks ago appointed oversight leader of the city’s response to municipal advertising – contended the process is not simple.

He said while a Request For Proposals for vendors seeking to advertise on city-owned vehicles will be issued within the next two weeks, the legal aspects of allowing the city to lease advertising space on municipal buildings won’t likely be hammered out until the end of this year.

“The issues are something like this: When you make a decision to advertising on a building, depending on what the building is – let’s say a rec center – are you comfortable allowing someone like the adult industry to advertise?” Negrin said.

When Clarke responded the city would determine ad content – with XXX spots a definite “no” – Negrin replied, “The concern is, does that set us up for a legal lawsuit?

“And what’s happened in other jurisdictions is when you start to restrict the ability and start to pick advertisers in a certain way and set limits – and this is not what we believe – but they claim we’re infringing upon their First Amendment rights to advertise like everybody else,” he continued, noting Phoenix is currently embroiled in such legislation over its municipal advertising program.

“It would be a sad irony if we, in an effort to raise quick revenue, cost the city more in litigation as we go through this process,” Negrin said.

Clarke shot back, “Mr. Negrin, that’s the most ridiculous policy I’ve ever heard of.”

Negrin went on to detail a litany of steps forward the city has taken over the past two weeks, including initiating an advertising content policy through the city Law Department, studying best practices in other cities who lease ad space, asking the Office of Innovation and Technology to help create digital advertising strategies and establishing a multidisciplinary working group that will hold bi-weekly committee meetings and create various subcommittees to delve more deeply into specific issues.

“You’ve laid out a very interesting process with the subcommittees and task force and all the other things,” Clarke responded.

“In my long tenure in government … traditionally, when people don’t want to do something, they either tell you they’re not going to do it or they set up a bunch of committees and task forces and they continue to wear you down. I hope that’s not what’s happening, because you set up a very complicated process for all of this.”

Negrin responded the Nutter administration is “fully supportive” of the municipal advertising effort and “committed” to working in partnership with City Council to make it happen.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…