Settlement Reached in City Waterways Billboard Lawsuit

Exhibit from lawsuit against Ballyhoo Media showing the company’s advertising for floating billboards across City waterways. Image Credit: Mayor’s Office/ NYC Law Department Affirmative Litigation Division

Mayor de Blasio previously called the billboards “floating eyesores.” On October 8, 2019, the New York City Law Department announced the settlement of the City’s lawsuit against Ballyhoo Media over the company’s use of floating LED billboards in City waterways.

Ballyhoo’s floating billboards began appearing in Manhattan and Brooklyn waterways in October 2018. The City filed the lawsuit in March 2019, stating that the billboards were a “public nuisance” and violated the New York City Zoning Resolution, which prohibits advertising in waterways within the view of major highways and bridges. For CityLand’s prior coverage of the lawsuit, click here.

Prior to the settlement, the New York State Legislature passed a ban on the operation of LED billboards in state waterways in August 2019.

Under the settlement, Ballyhoo agrees to cease operation on “any waterway located in the State of New York.” According to the stipulation, if Ballyhoo fails to comply with the terms of the agreement, the company could face a fine of $100,000. Ballyhoo will continue its operations in Miami, Florida.

Acting Corporation Counsel Georgia M. Pestana stated, “Our legal action has resulted in a big win for New Yorkers. Ballyhoo will no longer operate its water-based ads anywhere in New York State in defiance of laws intended to further traffic safety and the public’s enjoyment of the waterfront. We will vigorously enforce this consent decree through additional legal action should Ballyhoo violate the terms of this settlement.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2018).



One thought on “Settlement Reached in City Waterways Billboard Lawsuit

  1. I feel safer already. Now can we do something about those animated billboards on the Gowanus at the split at the bottom of the Gowanus Hill.
    Those are real distractions!

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