Election poster a repeat offense

Take note – story published 9 years ago

The Riga municipal zoning board ordered outdoor advertising agency Clear Channel Latvia (CCL) to again remove posters advertising Unity’s leading candidates for the 12th Saeima elections, citing their repeated violation of size limitations set on downtown billboards.

According to zoning board representative Ilze Žuka, CCL submitted its notification that it was replacing the previously cited posters with ones that would comply with regulations. The billboard was now to hold two separate posters, one advertising Unity’s campaign, the other materials from the NGO Physician’s Congress Fund.

However, the zoning board rejected the replacement, saying the billboards were not intended for two posters in one space.

“By placing two ads in a commercial space intended for just one, the regulations have been violated. This is against the law,” said zoning board chief Inguss Vircavs.

Žuka explained that the repeat offense prompted the board to open an administrative case against the twice-offending posters.

As reported in the context of state- and local-government powers exercising extra-political options to foil electoral rivals in clever attempts to attract voters, last week the CCL billboards became a source of dispute between Unity’s campaign organizers and the Harmony-led Riga City Council.

CCL has categorically objected to the city’s order for removal of the posters from 45 billboard spaces in the historic downtown and other neighborhoods by September 25. It has appealed the decision at Riga City Council’s Client Reception Center, from where it will be processed and forwarded to the Zoning Board and Planning Department for review.

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