cross-posted from Sum of Change
UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance. He told me that Titan 360 has now completely changed their reasoning for rejecting the ad. At first, they were going to work with the Drug Policy Alliance to place the ad with another landlord but have now decided that the ad goes against their policy and cannot be run anywhere. We are still trying to get in touch with Titan 360 for a comment.
Booze, strip clubs, breasts, and casinos. What do they have in common? All are billboards you will find along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). But the following was rejected:
pdf of ad here. It reads: "Nearly half of all New Yorkers have tried marijuana – including Mayor Bloomberg. We can’t arrest them all but Bloomberg is trying.
Marijuana arrests last year: 55,000
Cost to taxpayers: nearly $100 million"
In their press release, the Drug Policy Alliance claims that an email from the billboard company, Titan 360, stated that the landlord rejected the ad for "political circumstances from the Mayor’s Office." According to Tony Newman, that is the only explanation that has been given to them by Titan 360 at this point.
So what are the "political circumstances from the Mayor’s Office"? We would like to know that too. The Gothamist is reporting that the Mayor’s Office is flatly denying any involvement with the billboard. A spokesperson for the Mayor confirmed that with us, over the phone. When questioned about the accuracy of the ad, he stated that nothing about the content of the ad is inaccurate. That would seem to contradict the excuse Titan 360 gave to the Gothamist that "we have no way of knowing if Bloomberg in fact smoked marijuana."
Just for fun, we posted some pictures of billboards that are or were allegedly along the BQE over at Sum of Change. If you have or can find others, please let us know.