First, a quick and basic review…

On-premises = billboard is located on the premises of the business being advertised.

Off-premises = billboard located in a separate location from the business being advertised.

Who regulates billboards?  Usually localities in which the billboards are located.

Why does it matter if the billboard is on or off the premises of business being advertised?  That depends on the local rules.  

For example, in a case just decided by the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS), the Court explained that as long as the rules regulating different types of billboards are not based on the content of the billboard, then localities may regulated how the content is delivered.

The Court also explained that “…it is regulations that discriminate based on ‘the topic discussed or the idea or message expressed’ that are content based….” Hence, problematic.

Why this case matters?  Because the local rules in this particular jurisdiction allowed on-premises billboard to digitize, but off-premises were not allowed to do so. So, this lawsuit ensued based on differentiated treatment leading to a content based discussion.

Do you think it’s ok that different rules apply to different billboards based on location?

Have you had your billboard materials reviewed for legal compliance with ad law?

Contact me to get you legal.

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