By now you’ve probably seen the silos that have converted into an advertisement for a 6 pack of Labatt beer.
When it comes to something like this there will always be differing opinions about the matter. I for one think it’s a pretty clever idea. Gaudy? Sure. But it certainly got people talking.
Since it started going up the preservation community has been plotting on ways to get it taken down. Now that they have had a bit too much time on their hands, they are getting ready to send the entire project to the recycling center. There is even an online petition going around.
Here’s the argument from one preservationist via the preservation-ready sites group on Facebook:
An update on the Labatt six-pack. This counts as both a “sign” and an “advertisement.” I’ve been reading statutes and ordinances, and here’s what I’ve learned.
FIRST, the Labatt ad violates Chapter 452-4 of the Buffalo City Code, which prohibits alcohol advertising within 1,000 feet of a public park with a “playground” area. All of River Fest Park & parts of Conway Park are within 1,000 feet. Conway has swings & a ball diamond and is indisputably a playground. River Fest lacks those features, but it has facilities where families with children launch kayaks, and community groups have held events there where families with children are invited to play.
SECOND, the Labatt ad violates sign restrictions in Chapter 511.104 of Buffalo’s zoning ordinances. As of today, RiverWorks cannot sell Labatt beer — their application for a liquor license is still pending. Thus, the ad is considered a “non-accessory” sign. The zoning ordinance prohibits non-accessory signs on the river or lakefront west of the Thruway, and I-190 is part of the thruway. The ad also violates zoning restrictions on the size of non-accessory signs.
FINALLY, when RiverWorks begins selling Labatt on the premises, the ad will be considered an “accessory” sign. But it’s still illegal. Section 83.2 of NY’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Act prohibits a licensed “on-premises” retailer from displaying an exterior sign that includes the name, logo, or trademark of any brand of alcoholic beverage or any manufacturer of such beverages. The ad would also violate zoning restrictions on the size of accessory signs.
BOTTOM LINE: it isn’t legal now, and never will be. I’ve drafted letters to the appropriate officials.
So get those pictures while you still “can”.
Sorry I couldn’t resist.