SF Government In Action: Special 'Hypocrisy' Edition.
The city objects to outdoor advertising in S.F. — when you do it.
By Benjamin Wachs
Sure, “government” means “hypocrisy” the same way “California” is synonymous with “endangered by fire,” but sometimes you can’t help but be impressed by that extra special effort.
For the last few weeks the Board of Supervisors have been proposing a measure condemning the Golden Gate Bridge authority for allowing advertising at its visitors center; AND a measure allowing Clear Channel to build city transit kiosks loaded with advertising …. at the same time.
See, advertising is bad when they get the money, but it’s OK when we do. You see.
“we” doesn’t include “you” or “me,” because the rules governing advertising on private property in San Francisco are extremely strict. The rule, to be specific, is “no.”
If you want to have Clear Channel put an advertisement on your property and pay you for the privilege? You can’t do it, according to John Purvis, the General Advertising Sign Coordinator with the Planning Department (does that fit on a business card?)
“If it’s advertising something off-site, that is, off their property, then it’s considered a general advertising sign and is not permitted,” Purvis said. At all? “At all.”
So, to be clear: Advertising in San Francisco is bad because it ruins the historic beauty of the city when ordinary people put it on their property, but is smart city planning when the city administration puts it on everybody’s property.
You’re selling out. They’re making smart fiscal decisions.
Photo | Dorothea Lange, taken on April 29, 1942 at Sutter and Octavia Streets on the day 600 persons of Japanese ancestry were deported from the city to an assembly center. Photo courtesy: The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.