When a "supergraphic" billboard went up at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue a day after the City Attorney's office cracked down against similar advertisements, it seemed like a real read-between-the-lines message aimed at City Hall.
The City Attorney's office might have had the last laugh over the weekend, though: 49-year-old Kayvan Setareh, a co-owner of the building in question, was arrested and held in lieu of $1 million bail for misdemeanor city code violations, according to the Los Angeles Times. Two of the allegations stem from the city's law regulating such signs.
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The City Attorney's office stated the man has been warned not to put up the giant movie advertisement that was draped over the First National Bank Building. Anti-billboard activists believed the sign's appearance was timed not to snub the city but rather to coincide with next weekend's Oscar Awards at the Kodak Theater a few doors down, where national media coverage would be sure to capture the ad's image.
"The days of lax and inconsistent enforcement of billboard and outdoor advertising laws in this city are over," stated City Attorney Carment Trutanich.
Observers were surprised that Setareh, picked up at his Pacific Palisades home Friday night, was put in jail over the misdemeanor allegations. His family expressed shock.
The city in August enacted a law banning such supergraphic ads, stating they're a nuisance because they could fall to the ground and hurt people on streets below. They could also hinder firefighters' access to buildings.