USC Football Billboard in UCLA Territory Torn Down by Regency Outdoor Advertising
Looks like Regency Outdoor Advertising, one of the biggest billboard companies in this land of 10,000 billboards, is choosing sides in the epic beef between USC and UCLA.
At first, it appeared that Regency (which reportedly is co-owned by Brian Kennedy, a prominent USC donor) had sided with the Trojans. As the Los Angeles Times noted in a sprawling print story on Monday, Regency recently erected a sky ad featuring USC quarterback Matt Barkley right next to the UCLA campus, in Westwood Village -- another way of letting Barkley sneer down upon his rivals. But as soon as the controversy hit the sports blogosphere, the ad was ripped down:
"USC billboard in Westwood covered -- but who's responsible?" asked the Times. And ESPN's SportsCenter fanned the flames by Tweeting before-and-after photos to almost 4 million followers.
Athletic department spokesmen for both USC and UCLA quickly denied that the universities themselves had anything to do with blacking out the billboard.
CSUN Womens Soccer
TicketsThu., Oct. 26, 7:00pm
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors
TicketsFri., Oct. 27, 7:30pm
UCLA Women's Soccer v California & UCLA Men's Soccer v Washington
TicketsSun., Oct. 29, 1:00pm
South Bay Lakers vs. Northern Arizona Suns
TicketsSun., Oct. 29, 7:00pm
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons
TicketsTue., Oct. 31, 7:30pm
"You'd have to check with the ad agency," USC's Tim Tessalone told L.A. Weekly.
"We contracted with several outdoor ad agencies to put up 30 billboards throughout the Southern California area," he explained, and suggested that Regency would have to make up for taking this one down:
"I'm sure our people will have to figure something out" with the billboard company, he said. "We didn't agree to this."
Tessalone made no attempt to hide the animosity in his voice. So we did as he said, and gave Regency a ring to ask what was up.
"No comment," said a woman on the other end of the line. "So you guys had nothing to do with taking the billboard down?" we asked.
"Yeah, we did, but no comment," said the Regency employee. Then, before we could ask for her name, she hung up. (FYI, mystery woman: "No comment" only works if you actually don't comment.)
So there you have it. Everyone can stop speculating that some guerrilla billboard-buffers from the Bruins' camp took matters into their own hands this morning, or that the college football gods have spoken, or whatever, because nope -- we get to blame both Matt Barkley's awkward Westwood enthroning and his highly politicized takedown on Regency Outdoor Advertising. Thus proving, once again: When in doubt, blame it on the billboard companies.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.