• NY Governor Signs Floating Billboard Ban

    The New York Times reported last week that Governor Cuomo had signed a bill to ban billboards from floating on New York waters.  The legislation impacts Florida based Ballyhoo Media. Insider has previously written about the dispute.

    Insider reached out to Ballyhoo Media CEO, Adam Shapiro and discussed the signed legislation and its impact on Ballyhoo.

    How do you see the state legislation impacting floating Billboard operations around New York City?

    The State passed legislation that restricts digital billboards on waterways from utilizing “flashing and intermittent lights.” The new law simply requires my platform to adhere to the digital billboard standards for roadways set forth by the Federal Highway Administration.

    You mentioned in the New York Times article that you were disappointed but undeterred by the Governor’s decision. Do you plan on continuing to operate?

    Yes, we plan to continue operating. It is extremely disappointing that both the City and State government have attempted to ban my company using false narratives to drive public opinion. New York City issued press releases in January stating that we were “illegal.” In April, a judge ruled that we had the right to operate. Two State senators from Manhattan then introduced new legislation in an attempt to ban my company. The only reason the State became involved is because we, Ballyhoo, have been legally operating all along. Now these same politicians again issued press releases touting victory and stating we are banned – this again is not true. The new legislation only restricts my business from playing “flashing and intermittent lights.” And thats what we plan to do – continue operating, just not with “flashing and intermittent” lights.

    Is there anything else you might want to share to provide additional context to the dispute?

    I think the overarching premise that we would like to get out there is that our fight with the City has been based off a multitude of lies and untruths. Since our launch in New York the City has driven a narrative that we are illegal, hated by New Yorkers, and we are unsafe. We have been legal since day one. We are still operating today and have never once received a fine or citation. To say all New Yorkers hate us is just not true. There is a small group of very loud voices that get echoed throughout social media. In fact, we have received an outpouring of support from the NY boating community receiving signatures of protest from Captains employed by New York Waterways, Hornblower, NY Taxi, Classic Cruise lines and many more. Lastly, the claims that we are unsafe is simply ludicrous. This new legislation is predicated and enacted due to “safety.” In three year, my boats have never been responsible for one accident on the waterways, roadways, or any other place. We are simply one boat in a harbor of hundreds. We are no harm to anyone or anything. The justification for the law is simply a lie to pass agenda based legislation. My story shouldn’t just be troubling for the OOH community, but it should be troubling for all citizens of New York. This is a disturbing example of government overreach.

     


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