Proliferation of advertising billboards: one reason, two justifications

Despite adverse public opinion, the proliferation of advertising billboards continues in our expressways, avenues, and streets. Its logic is simple: it is a highly profit­able economic activity, a good business, and as such it should not be subjected to limits im­posed by the State. Marketing principles validate the notion that public policies on the use of public space should privilege practices of the free market that generate revenue, or progress.

Promoters of this market­ing logic present two additional arguments to support the prolif­eration of advertising billboards. One alludes to the sanctity of private property: the owner of a property is entitled to use it for his personal benefit, includ­ing renting it for advertising purposes. The other claims the inalienable right to freedom of expression, extended to adver­tising messages.

Luckily, both arguments have been disqualified by judicial decisions in U.S. courts. In fact, there are already several juris­dictions in the United States that prohibit the use of advertise­ment billboards because they are considered adverse to public well-being. Puerto Rico awaits the restoration of a similar public policy, .which was once in effect, not long ago, and was cause for national pride.

From Editorial`s Staff

 

Author: Proyectos FPH
Published: January 22, 2008.

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