• Your out of home company and politics.

    Out of home advertising company assists city councilman with fundraising and offers paid internship to son of city councilman.  City Councilman introduces legislation to get out of home company out of a jam when it runs into a dispute with the city.  It’s all here in last Friday’s District Dig expose of the DigiOutdoor Media saga in Washington DC. In December 2017 the SEC sued Digi Outdoor Media, for investor theft.

    Friday’s article prompts Insider to write some common sense rules for political involvement for your out of home advertising company.


    • Contribute to political candidates.  Insider considers political contributions free speech.  Contributions insure your access to candidates.
    • Attend political fundraisers.
    • Meet with politicians to discuss issues.
    • Serve on political boards and task forces.
    • Encourage members of your company to be politically involved or to run for office.  Lamar CEO Sean Reilly served in the Louisiana legislature from 1988-1996  Martin Daniel the owner of Elevation Outdoor serves in the Tennessee legislature.


    • Illegal or undeclared contributions to political campaigns.  You have a right to give money to whoever you wish and other people have a right to know who and how much.
    • Hiring spouses or children of political or zoning decisions makers, especially if there are issues on the table and it is seen as a quid pro quo.  DigiSign gave a paid internship to the son of a DC Councilman while it was trying to get the Councilman’s support for legislative relief in a dispute is was having with the city.   Looks to Insider like a payoff.

    Grey Areas

    • Gifts to legislators or staff members.  A box or chocolate or bottle of wine valued at less than $100 may be OK.  Most state and local governments limit what gifts legislators and legislative employees can receive.  Almost all institutions prohibit gifts aimed at influencing a decision.  Here is a summary of state gift laws.
    • Doing business with a company which is controlled by a politician or a politician’s spouse.  This is a tough issue especially in a small community where council positions are part-time and a council member happens to have a printing company or an electrical firm or a law firm.  I suppose the best approach in these matters is to ask the council member to recuse themselves when an issue comes up if you are concerned about a conflict of interest.

    Insider has a friend who used to work for the Frank Russell Investment company.  The internal code was don’t do anything which you’d be ashamed about if it was subject of a front page article on the wall street journal tomorrow.  A good rule for your out of home company’s dealings with politicians and government employees.

    What are your guidelines for staying out of trouble when dealing with political figures?  Let Insider know using the form below.

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