You've seen them -- those advertising banners being towed by small planes. Those aerial commercials have been around since the 1930s, but one San Francisco supervisor would like to stop them from flying over the city.
"For the past year and a half, our office has fielded a number of complaints around the noise pollution and the visual pollution of these aerial advertisers. And, folks really want to see an advertising-free skyline in San Francisco," Supervisor Jane Kim said. Kim represents the neighborhoods near the San Francisco Giant's ballpark where there is a lot of aerial advertising. At a hearing Monday, she pushed for a ban.
The owner of Aerial Services in Livermore, Bob Franklin, says he and the pilots who two banners would take a financial hit and he says there's more at stake. "It would certainly hurt us and be more and more of a death knell to the ability for us to be able to exhibit relatively inexpensive free speech messages," he said.
Honolulu has been able to prohibit this kind of advertising since 1978, even in the face of legal challenges. And, supporters of a San Francisco ban believe it's worth a fight.
"It is a commercialization of our public space. We at San Francisco Beautiful have been fighting against intrusive billboard advertising, advertising taking up our sidewalks here in the city with advertising kiosks, and this is another incursion upon our space, our airspace," said Alex walker with San Francisco Beautiful.
The FAA says regulating airspace is its domain and Supervisor Kim says she is reaching out to the agency to see if it will work with the city.