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Advertising Barges In NY Could Draw Higher Fines

The New York City Council is considering a bill to provide steep fines for barges carrying LED billboard ads. Council members believe the ads are illegal under current zoning laws.

The Gothamist news outlet reported that the bill, sponsored by council members Mark Levine and Justin Brannan, would increase the fine for companies caught advertising in the city’s waterways from $25,000 to $100,000.

The law is apparently a response to a barge that appeared on Manhattan’s waterfront in October, showing ads for private helicopter rides and beer on a 60-foot-high LED screen. The barge is run by Ballyhoo Media, which describes itself as a provider of “high-impact outdoor advertising” in Miami and New York.

The barges run on the Hudson and East rivers around Lower Manhattan, floating past Hudson Yards, Chelsea Piers and Battery Park City and beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. According to a January article by ad publication Digiday, a 30-second spot on the barge costs $55,000.

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