Legal: “Business owner challenges Orange Park ban on inflatable Super Mario”

Legal: “Business owner challenges Orange Park ban on inflatable Super Mario”

Photo: ClickOrlando.com

“…The owner of a video game store is challenging an Orange Park law that prohibits him from setting up an inflatable Super Mario outside his store. Scott Fisher, the owner of Gone Broke Gaming, used a 10-foot inflatable version of the classic video game character last summer to attract attention to his business at 686 Kingsley Ave., but was told to take it down or face a $100-a-day fine.

‘Running a small business isn’t easy from the start,’ Fisher said. ‘Then having the city tell me they’re going to cut some of my profits out from under me in the form of not having my advertising, it kind of hurts.’

Orange Park law bans business owners from installing inflatables or other portable displays that convey a message related to their business. Fisher said his business is set back 30 feet from the street and sales have suffered without the iconic character out front. He said Super Mario drew attention to his small storefront and it became an attraction for both kids and adults.

Fisher’s lawsuit argues that Orange Park’s sign code, one of many similarly restrictive codes across the country, violates the free speech protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In his lawsuit, Fisher claims that he’s allowed to have seasonal decorations, but not ones with a ‘commercial message.’

‘The best idea wins. There could be three or four video game stores in the local area, but if I happen to have the idea to put a Mario in front of mine and it draws more business, that’s exactly what the First Amendment is there to protect,’ Fisher said.

The attorney for the town of Orange Park told News4Jax that he has not seen the lawsuit and he would not be comfortable giving any comment until he has reviewed it.

Princess Toadstool was not available for comment.”

— Chris Parentea, ClickOrlando.com

 
Legal: “Miami Beach tries to ban floating billboards, but company says law can’t touch ocean boats”

Legal: “Miami Beach tries to ban floating billboards, but company says law can’t touch ocean boats”

Photo: Miami New Times

“…A Miami Beach-based company’s take on oceanfront advertising — a boat that hauls back-to-back, 46-foot-wide high-definition screens — hit local beaches months ago. But residents were not pleased with giant roving ads disrupting their views.

‘I mean, I just thought it was ridiculous,’ says Michael DeFilippi, a Miami Beach activist. ‘It was just complete commercialization of our city and really taking away from the natural environment and the peace of the beach.’

Comments about the boat poured in to the environmental-minded Facebook page DeFilippi runs, Clean Up Miami Beach. ‘Is nothing sacred?’ one person asked. DeFilippi, for his part, worried that increasing numbers of billboard-loaded boats would crowd the beaches.

Now Miami Beach has passed a rule banned advertising vessels from some of the waters within its jurisdiction. During a meeting Wednesday, the city commission voted unanimously in favor of the ban, proposed by Commissioner Michael Grieco.

‘All I know is that it’s really obnoxious and intrusive to people when you’re riding up and down in a billboard,’ Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez told the owner of the company in question, Ballyhoo Media. ‘You come to the beach because it’s a kind of tropical paradise. The last thing you need is a boat with a billboard right in your face.’

The vote came despite the arguments of Ballyhoo Media owner Adam Shapiro, who he loves the beach and believes his company will help instead of hurt it by offering a cheaper, quicker way to reach customers and make announcements…'”

— Brittany Shammas, Miami New Times. 

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