(Photo collage by Ray Johnson)
The photo collage above is my artistic reflection of what’s been happening in Sheepshead Bay with electrical poles and lampposts being turned into excessive, permanent, free advertising for businesses.
Sometimes, someone having a garage sale posts signs advertising their yard sale (some have the decency to remove them, later) – but this situation is prolific and outrageous. The offenders we’re talking about here are companies advertising their money-making business, not a not-for-profit agency advertising a community event.
First, there is the moving company that advertises their services for $16 per man, per truck. Something tells me that there are going to be a lot of hidden fees. Someone’s got to pay for the plastering job. Then, there is Adam’s Lounge, whose management must feel that having one sign on every single pole at the corner of Sheepshead Bay Road is good for business. Actually, I’m sure that a lot of people must be saying, “What a dive! Too cheap to pay for advertising. What kind of lounge is that?”
The moving company doesn’t seem to have a name and lists simply as, “MOVING” in big, bold capital letters. They post their signs using heavy duty packaging tape (the expensive type that I’m sure they wouldn’t lavish on customer’s boxes), making them very difficult to remove. On any one given pole, there can be three or four of this moving company’s signs layered on top of each other. Someone, please explain to me, what is the reasoning behind that?
They must be paying their signposters more than what they pay the heavy lifters, because the posting staff are very dedicated and good at what they do. Plus, they appear to be working the night shift. I’ve heard that it’s not uncommon for some poster workers to place ads they are supposed to be putting on any circular surface, to instead file them in the circular file. But, not these guys – their motto appears to be superhero-like: “We are the sign-posters. Posting signs, moving people. Messing up Sheepshead Bay and the world!”
The nightclub-sign-posting offender has enough money to make a large, professional-looking poster made of some type of thick, water-resistant material, so one would think that they have enough of a budget to find the right venue to place their advertisements. I tried, numerous times, to reach the nightclub to ask them about their marketing choices, but the number appeared to be a fax line.
It’s bad enough that Sheepshead Bay is becoming widely known, not for its fishing, but for its litter — why do these companies have to plaster the entire place with their free advertising? In various places around New York City (especially Manhattan), there are “Post No Bills” warnings. All of Sheepshead Bay’s vertical surfaces might need to have this warning painted onto them to send these posters a message, because they must not know about the city laws that prohibit these types of freebies.
Sam Roberts of the NY Times City Room says that the “Post No Bills” sign is “one of those quirky urban phenomena that I fixate on during a slow news day”. Every day in Sheepshead Bay, even on a big news day, whenever (every second) I see these illegal advertisements, I fixate on the phrase, “Post No Bills”. Everywhere we look, there they are.
Let’s hope that city officials will come in soon and move these movers and their signs out of here.