Los Angeles has had a problem with illegal billboards for a while, but apparently it’s taking a ban on one type of display advertising seriously. “Supergraphics” are giant outdoor ads that stretch across the sides of buildings and are so big they can be seen from the International Space Station. Last month, the city filed a lawsuit involving several supergraphics already on display. A few days later a businessman hung an eight-story tall one on a building on Hollywood Boulevard, in the line of sight of cameras shooting red carpet coverage for the Oscars. He was arrested and held on a $1,000,000 bail.
In 2002, LA banned any new billboards from going up in the city. Since then, an estimated four thousand have been put up by advertising companies who have ignored the law, which obviously the city’s billboard inspectors—”a tiny, and some say incredibly inept, group”—have never bothered to enforce.