Group's Antiwar Billboard Is Offered New Times Sq. Spot
By Julia Preston, NY Times, Published: July 14, 2004
Accusing an advocacy group of a "rush to the courthouse," a lawyer for Clear Channel Communications offered an alternative billboard space in Times Square yesterday for a huge antiwar advertisement by the group.
But the lawyer, Robert H. Pees, said Clear Channel still has "concerns" about the image proposed by the group, Project Billboard, which shows a round bomb painted with the stars and stripes over the words "Democracy Is Best Taught by Example, Not by War."
Deborah Rappaport, a Project Billboard representative, said the group would insist on the bomb image and was withdrawing an earlier compromise offer to use an image of a red, white and blue dove instead.
While Clear Channel seemed to be seeking to resolve the dispute, a hearing on the matter, at the United States District Court for the Southern District, in Manhattan, only compounded the tangles. In a civil suit filed on Monday, Project Billboard accused Clear Channel of breach of contract, charging that the media conglomerate was trying to muzzle its political message.
Mr. Pees surprised the group's lawyers by handing the judge a rider to a lease on the original billboard, specifying that the building's owner had to approve the ad's content. The immense billboard, 69 feet high and 44 feet across, hangs on the Marriott Marquis hotel at 1535 Broadway.
[snip] (Remainder of article on site)
The proposed billboard graphic is available at: