As of this week, it's no longer permissible to go up to someone on Hollywood Boulevard and try to sell celebrity tour tickets.
L.A. City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's “no commercial solicitation” law, unanimously approved by his council colleagues last month, went into effect, and yesterday O'Farrell himself hit the boulevard to let the hawkers know.
The main targets of the new law are aggressive tour-bus ticket peddlers who work along the Hollywood Walk of Fame:
The fine print of the law sounds pretty strict:
No person shall on any street offer for sale, solicit the employment of, or announce by any means the availability of, any goods, wares, merchandise, services or facilities, or solicit patrons for or advertise any show, exhibition, entertainment, tour, excursion, sight-seeing trip, or real estate viewing or inspection trip.
The law was mainly meant to stop sellers from surrounding tourists on the sidewalk. The ordinance kills a previous exemption, granted to tour-bus operators, from the city's no-solicitation law.
Here's what O'Farrell says about it:
Over the last several years, Hollywood Boulevard has seen an increase in the amount of tour bus operators that have solicited ticket sales on the historic sidewalk and street. With ever-increasing competition over the past few years, tour bus companies have become particularly aggressive in soliciting customers on the Boulevard and sidewalks throughout Hollywood.
The situation has created a circus-like atmosphere that leaves a bad impression on Hollywood visitors and has inhibited economic growth for businesses that play by the rules.